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3  ANGELES,  C*l_IF. 

* * 

T  H  E 

3U*es  of  ti)e  £>atnt0 




* * 

* . — gj 

First  Edition   .....     published  iSj2 
Second  Edition         ....  , ,  I^97 

New  and  Revised  Edition,  16  vols.  ,,         ^9{4 

* * 

After  Francia,  in  the  Church  of  S.  John  Lateran,  Rome. 

March,  Frontispiece.] 

[March  25. 

ft ft 


!Litit0  of  tf)e  §>aint0 

BY    THE 


With   Introduction  and  Additional   Lives  of  English 

Martyrs,  Cornish,   Scottish,  and  Welsh  Saints, 

and  a  full  Index  to  the  Entire  Work. 

New  and  Revised  Edition 



31    GEORGE    IV   BRIDGE 


ft ft 





SS.  Abraham  and  Mary  275 
S.  Adrian,     B.    of    S. 

Andrews     ...     59 
„   Adrian,  M.  at  \Yin- 

tersboven    .     .     .  553 
„  Agricola     ... 

..   Alberta 212 

..   Albinus 16 

„  Alexander  of  Apa- 

mea 203 

„  Alexander  of  Jeru- 
salem    ....  312 

.,  Alfwold 460 

„  Alkmund  ....  334 
„  Amamius  ....  333 
„  Ambrose  of  Sienna .  369 
..   Angus  of  Keld    .     .217 

..   Aninas 274 

Annunciation  :      B.    Y. 

Mary      ....  450 

.     .  252 

.,  Antonina    .     . 

.     .       8 

..   Aphrodi; 


Beziers  .     . 


„   Aphrodisius  of  Car- 

thage    .     . 

.  256 

„   Apoilonins .     . 

.     .   156 

Aristobahts     . 

.     .  266 

SS.  Armogastes 


camp.     .     . 

.    •  496 

S.  Asterius      .     . 


..   Augusta     .     . 

-    -  483 


.    .  513 

SS.  Balther  and  Bilfred 

S.  Barachisras     . 

.    .  491 

„   Basil  of  Ancvra 

.   S07 

SS.  Basiliscus  and  cotnp.    44 

S.  Basinus      .     . 

-     •     59 





SS.  Bathus,  Verca,  and 
children  .  . 
S.  Benedict  .  .  . 
„  Benjamin  .  .  . 
„  Bilfrid  .... 
„   Boniface  Quiritine 

„   Bosa 

„   Braulio  .... 




SS.  Caius  and  Alexander  203 
,,   Caius  the   Palatine 

and  comp.  ...  57 
S.  Camin  of  Iniskeltra  458 
„  Casimir,  Prince  .  .  60 
„  Castulus  ....  467 
„   Catherine  of  Bologna  182 

„   Chad 23 

B.  Charles  the  Good  .  38 
S.  Chelidonius  ...  44 
„  Chrodegang  ...  96 
„   Cleonicus  ....     44 

SS.  Codratus  and  comp.  203 

S.  Colette 97 

„  Columba  ....  274 
„   Constantine    .     .     .  214 

Crucifixion,  Memorial  of  254 
S.  Cuthbert    ....  337 
,,    Cyril,  Patr.  of  Jeru- 
salem    .     .     .     .314 
„    Cyril  of  Heliopolis  .  492 

SS.  Cyril  and  Methodius  176 


Daniel 517 

David 10 

Deogratias     .     .     .411 
Dionysius    of    Cae- 

sarea  ....  444 
DionysiusofCorinth  203 
Domangart  .  .  .  445 
Domnina  ....  9 
Dorotheus ....  222 

S.  Drausinus  ....     74 
„    Droctoveus     .     .     .  209 

„   Dina 457 

„   Duthac 164 

S.  Edward      .    .     . 
B.  Eelko  Liaukaman 
SS.  Emetherius    an 
S.  Enda     .     . 

Ethelwold . 



Eulogius    . 





Eutropius  . 




S.  Felicitas     ....  102 

,,   Felix 163 

„   Fina.     .....  239 

SS.  Fingar  and  Piala    .  437 
S.  Finnian      .     .     .     .321 

SS.  Forty    Martyrs     of 

Sebaste ....  204 
S.  Frances  of  Rome  .  185 
„  Fridolin  .  .  .  .  91 
„    Frigidian   .     .     .     .321 

S.  Gabriel,  Archangel.  312 
Gerasimus.  ...  63 
Gertrude    ....  306 

Gorgo 212 

Gorgonius ....  222 
Gregory  the  Great  .  226 
Gregory  of  Nyssa   .  172 







S.  Heribert  .  .  . 
„  Hesychius .  .  . 
SS.  Hilary  and  comp. 
S.  HiMelitha .  .  . 
B.  Hugo  .... 
S.  Humbert  .  .  . 
„    Hymelin    .     .     . 


S.  Irenaeus 






S.  Joachim     ....  336 

„   Joavan 22 

„   John    of  Civita-di- 

Penne  .... 
„  John  Climacus  .  . 
„  John  of  Egypt  .  . 
,,  John  of  God  .  .  . 
„  John-Joseph  .  .  . 
SS.  Jonas     and     Bara- 

chisius    .... 
S.  Joseph,  husband  of 

B.  V.  Mary  .  .  327 
„  Joseph  of  Arimathea  283 
„   Julian  of  Anazarbus  273 


S.  Katharine  of  Sweden  421 
„    Kennocha .     .     .     .255 

„   Kessog 208 

„    Kieran 66 

,,    Kunegund.     ...     52 
SS.  Kyneburga     and 

comp 93 

S.  Kyneswitha    ...     93 

S.  Lactean  .  .  .  .331 
„  Landoald  ....  333 
„  Leo,  Archb.  Rouen  19 
„   Longinus   ....  266 


S.  Lubin 257 

„    Lucius 55 

„    Ludger 469 

„    Lupicinus  .     .     .     .371 
,,    Lydia 482 



Macarius    .     .     . 
Mark  of  Arethusa 
Marinus  and  Aste 
rius    .... 
„    Martyrs  under  Alex 

ander     .     .     . 
„    Martyrs   under   the 

Lombards  .     . 
,,    Martyrs  under  Nero 
„    Martyrs  of  Sebaste 
„    Martyrs  in  the  Sera- 

pion  .... 
S.  Mathilda    .     .     . 
,,    Matrona     .     .     . 
,,   MatthewofBeauvais 
„    Maxima    of    Nico- 
media    .... 
„    Maxima  of  Sermium 
Memorial  of  the  Cruci- 
fixion    .... 
S.  Methodius.     .     .     . 
„   Mochoemog  .     .    . 

„   Monan 

Montanus        and 

Maxima      .     .     . 















Narcissus  .  . 
Nicander  .  . 
Nicephorus  . 
Nicholas  von 
Flue  .    .     . 




S.  Owen 57 







S.  Pacian 172 

„    Pancharius     .     .     .  328 

„    Papas 273 

„    Patrick  .     .  .  .     .     .285 

„    Paul  of  Cyprus   .     .  311 
„    Paul  of  Leon  .     .     .  223 
„    Paul  of  Narbonne  .  406 
„   Paul  the  Simple.     .   114 
Penitent  Thief,  the    .     .  456 
SS.  Perpetua  and  comp.  102 
,,    Peter  and  comp.  of 

Carthage    .     .     .256 
„   Peter  and  comp.  of 

Nicomedia      .     .  222 
B.  Peter  of  Castelnau  .     74 
S.  Peter  the  Spaniard.  221 
SS.  Philemon  and  Apol- 

lonius     .     .     .     .156 

„    Philetus  and  comp  .  482 

S.  Phocas 63 

„   Piala 437 

„    Piran  or  Kieran  .     .     66 
„    Proculus     .     .     .     .435 

S.  Quirinus  of  Rome   .  456 
„    Quirinus  the  Tribune  504 

'  R 
S.  Regulus      ....  504 
„    Renovatus.     .     .     •  5J5 
SS.  Ruderick  and  Salo- 
mon    254 

S.  Rudesind    ....  19 

Salomon  .  .  .  .254 
Secundus  ....  503 
Senan  of  Iniscatthy   159 

Serapion  .  . 
Sezin  .  .  . 
Simon  of  Trent 
Simplicius .  . 
Sixtus  .  .  . 
Spes .... 
Swibert  the  elder 



S.  Tatian 271 

„  Tetricus  ....  322 
,,  Thomas  Aquinas  .  116 
B.  Thomas  of  Lancaster  414 

S.  Tibba 93 

SS.  Timolaus  and  comp.  444 
„   Twenty  Monks  at  S. 

Sabas     ....  365 



Verca  and  children    468 

Victorian    ....  439 

Vincent      ....  213 

Vindician  .     .     .     .215 


Virgilius     ....     72 



William  of  Norwich  461 

Winwaloe  ....     49 

Withburga     .     .     .  309 


Wulfram    .     .     .     .361 

S.  Xystus,  Pope 


S.  Zacharias  ....  268 
„   Zosimus  of  Syracuse  508 


tfl * 


The  Annunciation Frontispiece 

After  FRANCIA,  in  the  Church  of  S.  fohn  Lateran, 

S.  David to  face  p.  10 

S.  Rudesind „         1 8 

After  Cahier. 

Lichfield  Cathedral  {see  p.  23) .        .        .        .     o?i p.  20 

S.  Chad to  face  p.  24 

S.  Kunegund,  Empress  of  Germany        .  „        52 

Forms  of  Mitre on  p.  54 

S.  Casimir,  Prince  of  Poland    .        .       .       to  face  p.  60 

After  Cahier. 

Group  of  Angels on  p.  62 

Marriage  of  the  Virgin „     89 

After  a  Bas- Relief  by  ORCAGNA. 

S.  Thomas  Aquinas  showing  S.  Louis  the 
Coronation  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
Mary  by  the  Word  Incarnate.        .      to  face  p.  116 

S.  Thomas  Aquinas „        128 

After  Cahier. 

S.  John  of  God „       168 

After  Cahier. 


x  List  of  Illustrations 

Jesus  Christ,  in  the  Character  of  a 
Pilgrim,  accepting  the  Hospitality 
of  two  Dominicans on  p.  171 

From  a  Fresco  by  Fra  Angelico  at  Florence. 

S.  Gregory  of  Nyssa to  face  p.  172 

After  a  Picture  by  Dominichino  at  Rome. 

S.  Gregory  of  Nyssa  (with  square  Nimbus)  „        174 

After  Cahier. 

Cathedral— Modena ,,182 

From  Stoughton's  "  Italian  Reformers." 

Hatred  and  Malice on  p.  202 

Symbolic  Carving  at  the  Abbey  of  S.  Denis. 

Deceitfulness  and  Vanity         .        .        .  „     211 

Symbolic  Carving  at  the  Abbey,  of  S.  Denis. 

S.  Gregory  the  Great        ....     to  face  p.  226 

After  Cahier. 

Mass  of  S.  Gregory „       238 

Pusillanimity on  p.  240 

Symbolic  Carving  at  the  Abbey  of  S.  Denis. 

S.  Matilda to  face  p.  260 

Slothfulness  and  Gluttony     ....    on  p.  265 

Symbolic  Carving  at  the  Abbey  of  S.  Denis. 

SS.  Joseph  and  Nicodemus  anointing  the 

Body  of  Christ      .....      to  face  p.  282 

From  an  old  Painting. 

S.  Patrick „        286 

After  Cahier. 

S.  Gertrude  of  Nivelles  ....  .,        306 

After  Cahier. 




List  of  Illustrations 


Portion  of  a  Monstrance  .... 

Murder  of  S.  Edward         .... 

S.  Joseph,  Husband  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 

From  the  Vienna  Missal. 

Death  of  S.  Joseph 


Death  of  S.  Cuthbert         .... 

S.  Cuthbert  in  his  Hermit's  Cell   . 

S.  Benedict 

After  Cahjer. 

S.  Benedict  exorcising  an  Evil  Spirit 
which  had  interrupted  the  Work- 
men employed  in  building  a  Chapel 

From  a  Fresco,  by  Spinelli  d'Arezzo,  in  the 
Church  of  San  Miniato,  near  Florence. 

S.  Benedict  reproving  Totila,  and  pre- 
dicting his  Death 

From  a  Fresco,  painted  by  Spinem.i  d'Arezzo,  in 
the  Church  of  San  Miniato,  near  Florence. 

The  Two  Thieves  {see  p.  456) :  S.  Dimas 
Penitent,  with  Angel  bearing  his 
happy  Soul  to  Paradise;  the  Impe- 
nitent, with  Demon  dragging  forth 
his  unwilling  Soul       .... 

The  Heavenly  Messenger  .... 

"The  Angel  Gabriel  was  sent  from  God  unto  a 
city  of  Galilee,  named  Nazareth,  to  a  virgin 
espoused  to  a  man  whose  name  was  Joseph, 
of  the  house  of  David  ;  and  the  virgin's  name 
was  Mary." 

.   on  p.  311 
to  face  p.  324 





•   on  p.  443 
to  face  p.  450 



* . (J, 

xii  List  of  Illustrations 

The  Annunciation to  face  p.  452 

After  Israel  van  Mecken,  in  the  Museum  at 

The  Annunciation „       454 

After  a  Picture  in  the  Museum  at  Madrid  (?) 

Memorial  of  the  Crucifixion  ...  „       456 

After  a  Picture  by  Roger  van  DER  Weyden, 
in  the  Museum  at  Madrid. 

"Fortitude" on  p.  481 

"Hope" „     490 

S.  Amadeus  of  Savoy to  face  p.  512 

After  Cahier. 

* * 

*- * 

Lives  of  the  Saints 

March  1. 

S.  Hesychius,  B.M.  at  Carteja,  in  Spain,  ist  cent. 

S.  Eudocia,  M.  at  Heliopolis,  in  Phoenicia,  2nd  cent. 

S.  Antonina,  M.  at  Nic&a,  4th  cent. 

S.  Domnina,  V.H.  in  Syria,  circ.  A.D.  460. 

S.  Simplicius,  Abp.  of  Bourges,  circ.  A.D.  480. 

S.  David,  Abp.  of  Mencvia,  in  Wales,  a.d.  544. 

S.  Herculanius,  B.M.  at  Perugia,  a.d.  547. 

S.  Albinus,  B.  of  Angers,  circ.  A.D.  549. 

S.  Marnon,  B.  in  Scotland. 

S.  Siward,  Ab.  ofS.  Calais,  in  France,  A.D.  687. 

S.  Swibkrt,  B.  Ap.  of  the  Frisians,  A.D.  713. 

S.  Monan,  Arc/id.  ofS.  Andrews,  in  Scotland,  circ.  A.D.  874. 

S.  Leo,  M.  Abp.  of  Rouen  and  Ap.  of  Bayonne,  circ.  a.d.  900. 

S.  Leo  Luke,  Ab.  of  Muletta,  in  Calabria,  circ.  a.d.  90a 

S.  Rudesind,  B.  of  Dumium,  in  Portugal,  A.D.  977. 

B.  Roger,  Abp.  of  Bourges,  a.d.  1368. 

B.  Bonavita,  C.  Blacksmith  of  Lugo,  in  Italy,  a.d.  1375. 

(ist  cent.) 

[Spanish  Martyrologies.     Not  in  the  Roman.] 

IJESYCHIUS  is   traditionally  said  to  have  been 
one  of  seven  apostles  sent  by   S.    Peter  into 
Spain.      He  is  supposed  to  have  preached  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Gibraltar,  and    to    have 
made  Carteja,  or  Carcesia,  the  modern  Algeziras,  his  head- 
quarters.      Nothing  authentic  is  known  of  this  mission,  or 
of  his  labours  and  martyrdom. 

VOL.    III.  x 

j, 4 

2  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i. 


(2ND1     CENT.) 

[Greek  Menaea,  and  Roman  Martyrology.  This  saint  does  not  occur  in 
any  of  the  ancient  Latin  Martyrologies.  Her  name  was  inserted  in  the 
Roman  Martyrology  by  Baronius.  She  is  called  Eudoxia  or  Eudocia. 
Authority  : — An  ancient  Greek  Life  which,  however,  from  its  using  the 
word  homo-ousios,  and  calling  the  Praetor,  Count,  proves  to  be  later  than 
the  times  of  Constantine.  The  story  has  a  foundation  of  fact,  perhaps; 
but  a  large  amount  of  addition  to  it  has  been  made  of  fabulous  matter,  to 
convert  it  into  a  religious  romance.] 

There  was  a  Samaritan  woman  named  Eudocia,  of 
great  beauty,  who  lived  as  a  harlot,  in  the  city  of  Heliopolis, 
in  Phoenicia.  She  had  amassed  much  wealth  by  her 
shameful  mode  of  life,  and  she  thought  only  of  how  she 
might  gratify  the  lust  of  the  flesh,  the  lust  of  the  eye,  and 
the  pride  of  life.  But  the  word  of  God  is  like  a  hammer 
that  breaketh  the  rocks  in  pieces. 

There  was  a  monk,  named  Germanus,  passing  through 
the  city,  and  he  lodged  with  an  acquaintance  next  door  to 
the  house  of  Eudocia.  And  in  the  middle  of  the  night  he 
arose,  as  was  his  wont,  and  sang  his  Psalms,  and,  opening  a 
book  began,  by  the  light  of  his  lamp,  to  read  a  spiritual 
lecture  with  a  loud  voice.  And  this  happened  to  be  its 
subject, — the  coming  of  Jesus  Christ  on  the  clouds  of 
heaven  to  judge  all  men  according  to  their  works,  when 
they  that  have  done  well  shall  enter  into  life,  and  they  that 
have  done  evil  shall  be  cast  into  eternal  fire.  Now,  it  fell 
out  that  there  was  only  a  lath  and  plaster  wall  between  the 
room  where  the  monk  was  and  that  in  which  Eudocia  lay. 
And  when  he  began  to  sing  she  awoke,  wondering,  and 
listened,  annoyed  at  first  at  the  disturbance,  but  afterwards 
interested  and  alarmed.     Then,  when  she  heard  him  read 

1  In  the  reign  of  Trajan,  says  the  Life,  but  this  is  very  questionable.  Monastic 
life  was  not  developed  then  to  the  extent  shown  in  this  story. 

% -* 

* — * 

March  i.]  .S*.  Eudocia.  3 

the  sentence  of  God  on  sinners,  she  was  filled  with  re- 
morse for  the  past,  present  shame,  and  fear  for  the  future. 
And  when  morning  dawned,  she  sent  for  the  monk,  and  she 
asked  him  if  that  was  true  which  he  had  read  during  the 
night  He  answered  that  it  was  so.  Then  looking  round, 
and  wondering  at  the  costly  furniture  and  luxuries  that 
abounded,  he  said  simply,  "  What  a  rich  man  thy  husband 
must  be  !"  Then  she  reddened  with  shame,  and  said,  in  a 
low  voice,  "  I  have  many  lovers,  but  no  husband."  "  Oh, 
my  daughter,"  cried  Germanus,  "  Would'st  thou  rather  be 
poor  now,  and  live  in  joy  and  glory  hereafter,  or  be  wealthy 
now  and  perish  miserably  in  everlasting  death?"  Then 
Eudocia  said,  "  How  hard  thy  God  must  be  to  hate  riches." 
"  God  forbid,"  exclaimed  the  monk,  "it  is  not  riches  that 
He  abhors,  but  goods  unjustly  gotten."  Then  he  declared 
to  her  in  order  what  she  must  do  and  believe  to  be  saved. 
"  And  first,  send  for  a  priest  of  the  city  who  may  give  thee 
proper  instruction,  that  thou  mayest  be  baptized,  for  baptism 
is  the  beginning  and  the  foundation  of  the  whole  Christian 
life.     And  now,  prepare  thyself  with  fasting  and  prayer." 

So  Eudocia  bade  her  servants  close  the  house,  as  though 
she  had  gone  into  her  country  villa,  and  should  any  one 
come  to  the  door,  refuse  him  admission.  And  she  sent  for 
a  priest,  and  when  he  came  she  said,  "  Oh,  sir !  I  am  a 
grievous  sinner,  a  sea  of  guilt"  "Be  of  good  cheer,  my 
daughter,"  was  his  salutation.  "The  sea  of  guilt  may  be 
changed  into  a  port  of  salvation,  and  the  waves  tossing 
with  passion  sink  into  an  ineffable  calm."  Then  he  in- 
structed her  on  the  nature  of  repentance,  and  bade  her 
wear  a  mean  dress,  putting  away  her  trinkets  and  silk  gown, 
and  fast  for  seven  days ;  and  he  diligendy  taught  her  what 
she  must  believe  and  do.  And  before  he  went  on  his  way, 
Germanus  visited  her  once  again,  to  confirm  the  good  work 
that  was  begun  in  her.     Then  she  asked  him  why  he  lived 

— * 

* _____ 

4  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 

in  the  desert,  and  in  the  practice  of  severe  mortification. 
"  Oh,  my  daughter,"  he  said ;  "  We  monks  labour  inces- 
santly to  cleanse  from  every  spot  of  sin  the  garments  of  our 
souls."      And  she  said,    "  I   have  now  fasted  and  eaten 
nothing  for  seven  days.     And  I  will  declare  to  thee  what 
befel  me  last  night.     In  my  exhaustion  I  sank  into  a  trance, 
and  saw,  and  lo  !  an  angel  took  me  by  the  hand,  and  led 
me  into  Heaven,  where  was  unspeakable  light,  and  there  I 
saw  the  blessed  ones  in  white,  with  shining  faces,  and  all 
their  countenances  lit  up  as  I  approached,   and  they  came 
running  towards  me,  and  greeted  me,  even  me,  as  a  sister. 
Then  there  came  up  a  shadow,  horrible  and  black,  and  it 
shrieked,  saying,  '  This  woman  is  mine.     I  have  used  her  to 
destroy  many,  she  has  worked  for  me  as  a  bond  slave,  and 
shall  she  be  saved  ?     I,  for  one  little  disobedience,  was  cast 
out  of  heaven,  and  here  is  this  beast,  steeped  from  head  to 
foot  in  pollution,  admitted  to  the  company  of  the  elect ! 
Have  done  with  this  ;  take  them  all,  scrape  all  the  rascals 
and  harlots  on  earth  together,  and  admit  them  into  your 
society.     I  will  off  into  my  Hell,  and  grovel  there  in  fire 
for  ever.'    And  then  I  heard  a  voice  from  the  ineffable  light 
answer  and  say,  '  God  willeth  not  the  death  of  a  sinner,  but 
rather  that  he  should  be  converted  and  live.'     And  after 
that  the  angel  took  me  by  the  hand  and  led  me  home  again, 
and  saying  to  me,  '  There  is  joy  in  heaven  over  one  sinner 
that  repenteth,'    signed   me    thrice    with   the    cross,    and 

Then  Germanus  rejoiced,  and  bade  Eudocia  be  of  good 
courage,  and  continue  in  the  good  path  she  had  elected  to 
walk  in. 

Now,  when  the  time  of  her  preparation  was  over, 
Eudocia  was  baptized  by  the  bishop,  Theodotus,  and  when 
the  sacrament  of  illumination  had  been  administered,  she 
went  home  and  made  an  inventory  of  all  that  she  had,  and 

* ■ — — & 


March  i.]  5*.  Eudocia.  5 

sent  it  to  the  bishop.  And  when  Theodotus  had  looked  at 
it  he  went  to  her  house,  and  said,  "  What  is  this  little  book 
that  thou  hast  sent  me  ?"  And  she  answered,  "  This  is  the 
list  of  all  my  precious  things,  which  I  pray  thy  holiness  to 
order  the  steward  of  the  Church  to  receive  of  me,  and 
distribute,  as  seemeth  fitting,  to  those  that  have  need." 
Then  the  bishop  did  as  he  was  desired,  and  the  Church 
treasurer  came,  and  collected,  and  disposed  of  all  her  costly 
things.  It  may  interest  some  to  know  what  these  were. 
Besides  money,  and  jewels,  and  pearls,  of  which  there  was 
great  store,  he  carried  off  two  hundred  and  seventy-five 
boxes  of  silk  dresses,  and  four  hundred  and  ten  chests  of 
linen,  one  hundred  and  sixty  boxes  of  gowns  embroidered 
with  gold,  one  hundred  and  fifty  cases  of  dresses  with 
jewelled  work,  one  hundred  and  twenty-three  large  chests 
of  various  garments,  twelve  boxes  of  musk,  thirty-three  of 
Indian  storax,  a  large  number  of  silver  vessels,  several  silk 
curtains  ornamented  with  gold  bullion,  satin  curtains,  and 
many  other  things  too  numerous  to  mention.1 

Now,  as  soon  as  all  her  valuables  had  been  distributed  to 
the  most  needy,  Eudocia,  still  in  her  white  baptismal  robe, 
departed  into  the  desert  to  a  convent  of  thirty  nuns  directed 
by  Germanus,  the  monk,  who  had  been  the  means  of  con- 
verting her.  And  never  did  she  change  the  colour  or 
character  of  her  garment  till  her  dying  day  ;  only  in  winter 
she  put  over  it  a  sack-cloth  gown  to  her  ankles,  and  a 
hooded  cloak  of  the  same  material. 

Thirteen  months  after  her  admission,  the  superior  of  the 
convent  died,  and  Germanus  appointed  the  penitent  Eudocia 
to  be  superior  in  her  room. 

There  was  a  young  man,  who  had  been  a  lover  of  Eudocia, 

1  The  wealth  of  some  of  the  harlots  of  olden  times  was  enormous.  Phryne 
offered  to  rebuild  the  walls  of  Thebes  at  her  own  cost  if  allowed  to  inscribe  on 
them,  "What  Alexander,  the  conqueror,  pulled  down,  Phryne,  the  harlot,  set 


6  Z-K/^f  of  the  Saints.  [March  i. 

who  was  greatly  vexed  at  her  conversion,  and  resolved, 
partly  out  of  passion,  and  partly  out  of  love  of  adventure, 
to  seek  her  out  in  her  seclusion,  and  entice  her  back  into 
the  world  of  pleasure.  To  accomplish  his  object  he  as- 
sumed a  monastic  habit,  and  went  to  the  convent,  and 
tapped  at  the  door.  The  portress  partly  opened  the  win- 
dow, and,  peeping  through  it,  asked  who  was  there.  Then 
the  man  answered,  after  the  manner  of  monks,  "  I  am  a 
sinner,  and  seek  to  communicate  in  your  prayers  and  bene- 
dictions." Then  the  sister  answered,  "  Thou  art  mistaken 
in  coming  here.  No  men  are  admitted  into  the  house. 
But  go  on  thy  way,  and  thou  wilt  find  a  monastery  governed 
by  the  blessed  Germanus  j  he  will  take  thee  in."  Then  she 
shut  the  window  in  his  face. 

The  young  man,  whose  name  was  Philostratus,  made  his 
way  to  the  monastery  of  Germanus,  and  he  found  the  old 
man  sitting  in  the  porch,  reading.  He  fell  at  his  feet,  and 
declared  himself  a  sinner,  who  desired  to  amend  his  life. 
Germanus  looked  hard  at  him,  and  a  certain  wantonness  of 
the  eye  made  him  hesitate  about  receiving  him.  "  We  are 
all  old  men  here,"  said  he ;  "  and  are  not  the  proper  ad- 
visers and  guides  of  a  hot-headed,  fire-blooded  youth.  Go 
elsewhere  my  son,  and  get  a  director  who  is  nearer  thine 
age."  "  My  father  !"  exclaimed  the  dissembler,  "  How 
cans't  thou  reject  me,  after  that  thou  hast  received  Eudocia. 
She  has  passed  through  the  fires  of  temptation  such  as 
assail  youth,  and  could  well  advise  me.  Let  her  give  me 
some  counsel,  and  I  will  go  my  way  strengthened  thereby." 

Germanus  had  acted  somewhat  injudiciously  in  appointing 
a  reclaimed  harlot  to  be  superior  of  a  sisterhood  after  only 
thirteen  months'  probation ;  he  now  committed  another  in- 
discretion in  allowing  the  strange  monk  ingress  into  the 
convent  But  he  was  guileless  himself,  and  thought  no  evil 
of  another,  so  he  listened  to  the  petition  of  Philostratus, 

£i _ * 

March  i.j  6\  Eudocia.  7 

and  calling  to  him  the  monk  who  offered  the  incense  in  the 
convent,  and  was,  therefore,  allowed  to  enter  it,  bade  him 
take  with  him  the  stranger,  and  give  him  audience  of  the 
superior.  So  Philostratus  was  led  back  to  the  convent,  and 
the  door  was  opened,  and  he  was  admitted  into  the  room  of 
Eudocia,  some  of  the  sisters  standing  afar  off,  according  to 
the  rule  of  the  house,  to  witness  the  meeting,  though  out  of 
hearing  of  the  conversation.  Then  Philostratus  looked  at 
the  sordid  room,  and  the  horsehair  cover  thrown  over  the 
pallet  bed,  and  the  haggard  cheeks  and  sunken  eyes  of  his 
former  mistress,  and  he  burst  forth  into  entreaties  that  she 
would  leave  this  wretched  life  of  constant  self-watching  and 
self-denial,  and  return  to  the  gaiety  of  city  life,  smart 
gowns,  and  pearl  necklaces,  cosdy  feasts,  and  obsequious 
admirers.  "  All  Heliopolis  awaits  thee,"  he  urged,  "  ready 
once  more  to  lavish  on  thee  its  gold  and  its  adulation  ;  re- 
turn once  more  to  the  raptures  and  liberty  of  a  life  of 

But  she  had  chosen  that  better  part  which  was  not  to  be 
taken  away  from  her,  and  she  resisted  all  his  persuasion, 
and  dismissed  him,  startled,  humbled,  and  resolved  to  lead 
a  better  life. 

So  far  the  story  of  Eudocia  is  natural  and  devoid  of  im- 
probabilities. But  the  Greek  writer  was  not  content  to 
leave  it  thus  deficient  in  marvels,  and  he  has  added  several 
chapters  of  fanciful  adventures,  as  insipid  as  they  are  un- 
true ;  and  the  contrast  they  make  with  the  earlier  portion 
of  the  history,  and  of  the  final  chapter,  points  them  out  as 
an  interpolation.  In  this  interpolation  Eudocia  converts 
"  King "  Aurelian  at  Heliopolis,  and  appears  before  the 
governor,  Diogenes,  armed  only  with  a  particle  of  the  Holy 
Eucharist,  which  she  bears  in  her  bosom.  The  king  orders 
her  to  be  stripped,  and  when  she  has  been  divested  of  her 
clothes,  till  the  Host  is  exposed,  then  the  B.  Sacrament  is 

# * 


Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  i. 


suddenly  transmuted  into  a  blazing  fire,  which  consumes  the 
governor  and  all  the  bystanders,  and  an  angel  veils  modestly 
the  naked  shoulders  and  bosom  of  Eudocia. 

The  sudden  extinction  of  a  governor  could  hardly  have 
been  passed  over  by  profane  history  had  it  really  occurred, 
and,  therefore,  the  falsifier  of  the  Acts  found  it  advisable  to 
revive  him.  Accordingly,  Eudocia  is  represented  as  taking 
the  charred  corpses  by  the  hand  and  restoring  them  in- 
stantly to  perfect  soundness. 

But  putting  aside  this  absurd  story,  which  is  to  be  found 
repeated  ad  nauseam  in  almost  all  the  forged  and  falsified 
Greek  Acts  of  martyrdoms,  with  slight  variations,  we  pass 
to  the  last  chapter  of  the  Life,  which  simply  narrates  the 
execution,  by  the  sword,  of  Eudocia  in  her  convent,  by 
order  of  Valerius,  the  governor,  without  any  sermons,  in- 
flated declamations,  and  theological  disquisitions,  such  as 
usually  accompany  corrupted,  interpolated  acts,  and  are  an 
invariable  feature  in  forgeries. 


(4TH    CENT.) 

[Greek  Menaea,  and  Menologium  of  the  Emperor  Basil.  Inserted  in  the 
Roman  Martyrology  by  Baronius.  Authority  : — The  account  in  the 

Anton  in  a  is  said  to  have  lived  in  the  city  of  Nicsea,  in 
the  reign  of  Maxentius.  On  account  of  her  refusal  to  offer 
incense  to  the  gods  she  was  stripped  of  her  clothes,  hung 
up,  and  her  sides  torn  with  rakes.  Then  she  was  thrust 
into  a  sack,  or  earthen  vessel  (it  is  uncertain  which),  and 
was  drowned  in  a  lake  near  the  city.  A  head  and  body  are 
shown  at  Bologna  as  those  of  S.  Antonina,  "  but  whether  of 
this  one  or  of  another  we  are  not  able  to  divine,"  say  the 



March  i.]  ,5*.  Domnina. 

Bollandists.  A  curious  instance  of  the  facility  with  which 
some  forgeries  may  be  detected  is  connected  with  S.  Anton- 
ina.  Canisius  published  an  edition  of  the  Greek  Menolo- 
gium  in  the  16th  century;  in  it  occurred  a  mistake.  S. 
Antonina  was  stated  to  have  suffered  at  Caea,  a  misprint  for 
Nicsea.  Shortly  after,  the  Jesuit,  Hieronymus  Romanus  de 
Higuera,  forged  a  chronicle  of  Flavius  Dexter,  Bishop  of 
Barcelona,  in  the  4th  century.  He  had  seen  the  Menolo- 
gium  of  Canisius,  and,  as  there  was  a  Ceija  in  Spain,  he 
inserted  S.  Antonina  in  his  Spanish  Chronicle  as  having 
suffered  there,  and  this  blunder  was  partly  the  means  of  the 
detection  of  the  forgery. 

S.  DOMNINA,  V.  H. 
(about  a.d.  460.) 

[Greek  Menologium.     Authority  : — Theodoret.] 

Theodoret,  after  relating  the  virtues  of  S.  Maro  the 
hermit,  (Feb.  14th)  goes  on  to  tell  of  a  holy  virgin,  named 
Domnina,  who  lived  in  a  small  shed,  and  attended  prayers 
in  the  Church  at  cock-crow.  She  was  emaciated  with  con- 
tinuous fasting ;  she  neither  looked  at  any  one,  nor  suffered 
her  own  face  to  be  seen.  Whenever  she  took  the  hand  of 
Theodoret,  the  bishop,  to  kiss  it,  he  drew  it  away  moistened 
with  her  tears.  She  spent  her  time,  when  not  engaged  in 
prayer,  in  ministering  to  the  necessities  of  travellers. 



io  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i. 



(a.d.  589.) 

[Roman,  Irish,  Scotch,  and  ancient  Anglican  Martyrologies.  His 
festival  was  celebrated  in  England  with  rulers  of  the  choir,  and  nine  lessons. 
Pope  Callixtus  II.  ordered  him  to  be  venerated  throughout  the  Christian 
world.  There  are  no  very  ancient  accounts  of  S.  David.  The  oldest  is  a 
life  existing  in  MS.  at  Utrecht,  which  was  not  known  to  Usher  or  Colgan. 
Usher  cites  Ricimer,  Giraldus,  and  John  of  Tynemouth,  a  Durham 
priest,  who  collected  the  Acts  of  the  English,  Scottish,  Welsh,  and  Irish 
Saints,  and  who  lived  in  1360.  Ricimer  was  Bishop  of  S.  David's  about 
1085,  and  died  about  1096.  His  life  of  S.  David  seems  to  have  been  the 
foundation  of  all  subsequent  biographies  of  that  saint.  Several  MSS.  of 
this  life  are  extant  ;  and  a  portion  of  it  containing  matter  not  found  in  the 
life  of  the  same  saint  by  Giraldus  Cambrensis,  was  printed  by  Wharton 
in  the  Anglia  Sacra.  Giraldus  Cambrensis  wrote  his  life  of  S.  David  about 
1177.  S.  Kentigern  (d.  590)  mentions  S.  David,  and  there  are  numerous 
allusions  to  him  in  the  lives  of  contemporary  Welsh  and  Irish  saints.] 

S.  David,  or  Dewi,  as  the  Welsh  call  him,  was  born 
about  446,  at  Mynyw,  which  was  named  S.  David's  after 
him.  His  father  was  Sandde,  son  of  Ceredig,  who  was  the 
son  of  Cunedda,  the  great  conqueror  of  N.  Wales.  His 
mother's  name  was  Non;  she  was  the  daughter  of  Gynyr 
of  Caergawch.  Giraldus  says  he  was  baptized  at  Porth 
Clais  by  Alveas,  Bishop  of  Munster,  "who  by  divine 
providence  had  arrived  at  that  time  from  Ireland."  The 
same  author  says  he  was  brought  up  at  "Henmenen," 
which  is  probably  the  Roman  station  Menapia. 

S.  David  was  educated  under  Iltyt  at  Caerworgon.  He 
was  afterward  ordained  priest,  and  studied  the  Scriptures 
for  ten  years  with  Paulinus  near  S.  David's  in  Pem- 
brokeshire. He  then  retired  for  prayer  and  study  to 
the  Vale  of  Ewias,  where  he  raised  a  chapel,  and  a  cell 
on  the  site  now  occupied  by  Llanthony  Abbey.  The  river 
Honddu  furnished  him  with  drink,  the  mountain  pastures 
with  meadow-leek  for  food.     His  legendary  history  states 


S.   DAVID. 

March   p.  10.] 

[March  I. 


March  i.]  S.  David.  I  I 

that  he  was  advised  by  an  angel  to  move  from  under 
the  shadow  of  the  Black  Mountains  to  the  vale  of  Rhos, 
and  to  found  a  monastery  at  Mynyw,  his  birth  place. 

He  built  a  monastery  on  the  boggy  land  which  forms 
nearly  the  lowest  point  of  that  basin-shaped  glen :  on,  or 
near  its  site  stands  the  present  Cathedral  of  S.  David. 
He  practised  the  same  rigorous  austerities  as  before.  Water 
was  his  only  drink,  and  he  rigorously  abstained  from 
animal  food.  He  devoted  himself  wholly  to  prayer,  study, 
and  to  the  training  of  his  disciples.  He,  like  many  other 
abbots  at  that  time,  was  promoted  to  the  episcopate.  A 
wild  legend  makes  him  to  have  started  on  a  pilgrimage  to 
Jerusalem,  and  to  have  received  consecration  at  the  hands 
of  the  patriarch  John  III.  This  tale  was  invented  by 
some  British  monk  to  show  that  the  Welsh  bishops  traced 
their  succession  to  the  oldest,  if  not  the  most  powerful,  of 
the  patriarchates.  Except  when  compelled  by  unavoidable 
necessity  he  kept  aloof  from  all  temporal  concerns.  He 
was  reluctant  even  to  attend  the  Synod  of  Bre6.  This 
was  convened  by  Dubricius  about  545  at  Llandewi  Brefi,  in 
Cardiganshire,  to  suppress  the  Pelagian  heresy,  which  was 
once  more  raising  its  head.  The  synod  was  composed  of 
bishops,  abbots,  and  religious  of  different  orders,  together 
with  princes  and  laymen.  Giraldus  says,  "When  many 
discourses  had  been  delivered  in  public,  and  were  in- 
effectual to  reclaim  the  Pelagians  from  their  error,  at  length 
Paulinus,  a  bishop  with  whom  David  had  studied  in  his 
youth,  very  earnestly  entreated  that  the  holy,  discreet,  and 
eloquent  man  might  be  sent  for.  Messengers  were  there- 
fore despatched  to  desire  his  attendance :  but  their  im- 
portunity was  unavailing  with  the  holy  man,  he  being  so 
fully  and  intently  given  up  to  contemplation,  that  urgent 
necessity  alone  could  induce  him  to  pay  any  regard  to 
temporal   or  secular   concerns.      At  last   two   holy    men, 

* $ 

12  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i. 

Daniel  and  Dubricius,  persuaded  him  to  come.  After  his 
arrival,  such  was  the  grace  and  eloquence  with  which  he 
spoke,  that  he  silenced  the  opponents,  and  they  were 
utterly  vanquished.  But  Father  David,  by  common  con- 
sent of  all,  whether  clergy  or  laity,  (Dubricius  having 
resigned  in  his  favour),  was  elected  primate  of  the  Cambrian 
Church."     Dubricius  retired  to  the  Isle  of  Bardsey. 

A  beautiful  yet  wild  legend  tells  us  : — "  While  S.  David's 
speech  continued,  a  snow  white  dove  descending  from 
heaven  sat  upon  his  shoulders ;  and  moreover  the  earth  on 
which  he  stood  raised  itself  under  him  till  it  became  a  hill, 
from  whence  his  voice  was  heard  like  a  trumpet,  and  was 
understood  by  all,  both  near  and  far  off:  on  the  top  of 
which  hill  a  church  was  afterwards  built,  and  remains  to 
this  day." 

S.  David  in  late  times  was  fabled  to  have  been  Arch- 
bishop of  Caerleon  upon  Usk,  and  to  have  transferred 
his  seat  to  the  quiet  retreat  of  Mynyw.  There  is  not  a 
particle  of  evidence  to  show  that  he  was  either  an  arch- 
bishop, or  even  a  bishop,  at  Caerleon.  He  was  abbot 
and  bishop  at  once  at  his  monastery  in  the  extreme  west 
of  that  promontory  extending  between  S.  Bride's  Bay 
and  the  Irish  Channel.  From  it  in  the  evening  lights 
the  hills  of  Wicklow  are  visible.  The  place  was,  more- 
over, sufficiently  remote  as  to  be  safe  from  the  attacks 
of  the  Saxons. 

In  569  he  attended  a  synod,  which  exterminated  the 
Pelagian  heresy,  and  was  in  consequence  named  "The 
Synod  of  Victory."  It  ratified  the  canons  and  decrees 
of  Brefi,  as  well  as  a  code  of  rules  which  he  had  drawn 
up  for  the  regulation  of  the  British  Church,  a  copy  of 
which  remained  in  the  Cathedral  of  S.  David's  until  it 
was  lost  in  an  incursion  of  pirates.  Giraldus  says :  "  In 
his   times,   in   Cambria,   the   Church   of   God    flourished 



March  i.] 

6".  David.  13 

exceedingly,  and  ripened  with  much  fruit  every  day. 
Monasteries  were  built  everywhere ;  many  congregations 
of  the  faithful  of  various  orders  were  collected  to  cele- 
brate with  fervent  devotion  the  Sacrifice  of  Christ.  But 
to  all  of  them  Father  David,  as  if  placed  on  a  lofty 
eminence,  was  a  mirror  and  pattern  of  life.  He  informed 
them  by  words,  and  he  instructed  them  by  example;  as 
a  preacher  he  was  most  powerful  through  his  eloquence, 
but  more  so  in  his  works.  He  was  a  doctrine  to  his 
hearers,  a  guide  to  the  religious,  a  light  to  the  poor,  a 
support  to  the  orphans,  a  protection  to  widows,  a  father 
to  the  fatherless,  a  rule  to  monks,  and  a  path  to  seculars, 
being  made  all  things  to  all  men  that  he  might  bring  all 
to  God." 

He  founded  several  churches  .and  monasteries.  The 
supposition  that  Wales  was  first  divided  into  dioceses 
in  his  time  is  destitute  of  any  grounds. 

Geoffrey  of  Monmouth  states  that  he  died  in  his  monas- 
tery at  Mynyw,  i.e.,  S.  David's,  where  he  was  honourably 
buried  by  order  of  Maelgwn  Gwynedd.  This  event  is 
recorded  by  him  as  if  it  happened  soon  after  the  death 
of  Arthur,  who  died  542.  According  to  the  computations 
of  Archbishop  Usher,  S.  David  died  544,  aged  82.  The 
Bollandists  agree  with  Usher  on  the  date  of  his  death, 
but  there  are  reasons  that  lead  us  to  hold  that  David 
was   born   between   495   and   500,  and   that   he  died  in 


Numerous  legends  have  gathered  round  the  history  of 

S.  David.     Thus  an  angel  is  said  to  have  foretold  his  birth 

thirty  years   before  to  his  father  in  a  dream.     "On  the 

morrow,  said  the  angelic  voice,  thou  wilt  slay  a  stag  by  a 

river  side,  and  will  find  three  gifts  there,  to  wit,  the  stag,  a 

fish,  and  a  honeycomb.     Thou  shalt  give  part  of  these  to 

the  son  who  shall  be  born  thirty  years  hence.     The  honey- 



14  Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  i. 

comb  proclaims  his  honied  wisdom,  the  fish,  his  life  on 
bread  and  water,  the  stag  his  dominion  over  the  old 
serpent."  The  mention  of  the  stag  doubtless  arose  from 
the  old  fancy  that  that  animal  kills  serpents  by  trampling  on 
them  :  thus  did  David  trample  the  Pelagian  heresy  under 
foot.  When  S.  Patrick  settled  in  the  vale  of  Rhos,  a  voice 
bade  him  depart,  for  it  was  reserved  for  the  abode  of  a 
child  who  should  be  born  thirty  years  after. 

At  his  baptism,  S.  David  splashed  some  water  on  to  the 
blind  eyes  of  the  bishop  who  was  baptizing  him,  and  re- 
stored their  power  of  sight.  His  schoolfellows  at  "  Hen- 
menen "  saw  a  dove  teaching  him,  and  singing  hymns  with 
him.  After  studying  with  Paulinus,  he  journeyed  to 
Glastonbury.  He  was  intending  to  dedicate  afresh  the 
church  which  had  been,  re-built,  when  the  Lord  appeared 
to  him  in  a  dream,  and  told  him  that  He  had  already  dedi- 
cated it :  as  a  sign  that  He  had  spoken  unto  him  He  pierced 
the  saint's  hand  with  His  fingers.  So  our  saint  contented 
himself  with  building  a  Lady  Chapel  at  the  east  end.  He 
is  said  to  have  founded  twelve  monasteries  on  this  journey. 
He  returned  to  Wales,  and  then  established  a  monastery 
at  Mynyw,  which  was  soon  filled  with  monks  and  disciples. 
They  worked  hard  with  their  own  hands  in  the  fields  ;  they 
harnessed  themselves  to  the  plough  instead  of  using  oxen 
for  that  purpose ;  they  tended  bees  that  they  might  have 
some  honey  to  give  to  the  sick  and  the  poor.  The  bees 
became  so  attached  to  one  monk,  Modemnoc,  that  they 
followed  him  on  board  ship  when  he  was  about  to  set  sail 
for  Ireland.  He  returned  to  the  monastery  and  made 
several  attempts  to  embark  unobserved  by  his  winged 
friends;  but  all  his  efforts  failed.  So  at  last  he  asked 
S.  David's  leave  to  take  them  with  him ;  the  saint  blessed 
the  bees,  and  bade  them  depart  in  peace,  and  be  fruitful 
and  multiply  in  their  new  home.    Thus  Ireland,  where  bees 

* — * 

*- * 

March  i.]  6*.  David.  15 

had  been  hitherto  unable  to  live,  was  enriched  by  their 

He  opened  many  fountains  in  dry  places,  healed  many 
brackish  streams,  raised  many  dead  to  life,  and  had  many 
visions  of  God  and  of  Angels.  In  one  of  these  visions  he 
was  warned  that  he  should  depart,  March  1st.  Thenceforth 
he  was  more  zealous  in  the  discharge  of  his  duty :  on  the 
Sunday  before  his  death  he  preached  a  sermon  to  the 
assembled  people,  and  after  consecrating  and  receiving  the 
Lord's  Body,  he  was  seized  with  a  sudden  pain :  then  turn- 
ing to  the  people  he  said,  "  Brethren,  persevere  in  the 
things  which  ye  have  heard  of  me :  on  the  third  day  hence 
I  go  the  way  of  my  fathers."  On  that  day,  while  the 
clergy  were  singing  the  Matin  Office,  he  had  a  vision  of  his 
Lord ;  then,  exulting  in  spirit,  he  exclaimed,  "  Raise  me 
after  Thee."     With  these  words  he  breathed  his  last. 

He  was  canonized  by  Pope  Callixtus  II.,  a.d.  1120; 
who  is  also  said  to  have  granted  an  indulgence  to  all  those 
who  made  a  pilgrimage  to  his  shrine.  Three  kings  of 
England — William  the  Conqueror,  Henry  II.,  and  Ed- 
ward I. — are  said  to  have  undertaken  the  journey,  which 
when  twice  repeated  was  deemed  equal  to  one  pilgrimage 
to  Rome  ;  whence  arose  this  saying  : — 

"  Roma  semel  quantum,  dat  bis  Menevia  tantum." 

A  noble  English  matron,  Elswida,  in  the  reign  of  Edgar, 
transferred  his  relics,  probably  in  964,  from  S.  David's  to 

S.  David's  plain  but  empty  shrine  stands  now  in  the 
choir  of  S.  David's  Cathedral  to  the  north  of  Edward 
Tudor's  altar  tomb. 

* * 

* # 

1 6  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [Marchi 


(ABOUT   A.D.    5  49-) 

[S.  Albinus  seems  to  have  enjoyed  an  amount  of  popularity  as  a  saint 
which  it  is  difficult  to  account  for.  Besides  receiving  great  veneration  at 
Angers,  where  his  feast  is  a  double,  and  in  Brittany,  where  it  is  a  semi- 
double,  in  Gnesen,  in  Poland,  it  was  observed  as  a  double.  His  name 
appears  in  most  Martyrologies,  as  those  of  Usuardus,  Hrabanus,  Wandel- 
bert,  &c.  Authority: — His  life  written  by  Fortunatus,  a  priest,  his 

S.  Albinus,  or  S.  Aubin,  as  he  is  called  in  France, 
belonged  to  an  ancient  family  at  Vannes,  in  Brittany. 
He  embraced  the  religious  life  in  the  abbey  of  Cincillac, 
called  afterwards  Tintillant,  near  Angers.  At  the  age  of 
thirty-five,  in  the  year  504,  he  was  chosen  abbot,  and 
twenty-five  years  afterwards,  bishop  of  Angers.  In  the 
3rd  Council  of  Orleans,  in  538,  he  caused  the  thirtieth 
canon  of  the  Epaone  to  be  revived,  which  declared  ex- 
communication to  those  who  contracted  marriage  within  the 
first  or  second  degree  of  consanguinity.  His  life  is  singularly 
devoid  of  incident  which  could  mark  it  off  from  that  of 
many  another  abbot  and  bishop,  and  it  is  therefore  difficult 
to  account  for  his  undoubted  popularity  in  France  in 
ancient  times. 



(a.d.  713.) 

[Ado,  Usuardus,  Molanus,  Belgian,  and  Cologne  Martyrologies, 
Gallican  and  Roman  Martyrologies.  Authorities  : — Bede,  lib.  v.  c.  ia ; 
and  the  life  of  S.  Willibrod.  There  exists  a  forged  life  of  S.  Swibert, 
under  the  name  of  Marcellinus,  which  was  composed  in  the  15th  century, 
and  which  is  undeserving  of  attention.    S.  Swibert  is  called  the  Elder  to 

4f * 

£l _ — X 

March  i.]  ,£  Swibert.  17 

distinguish  him  from  S.  Swibert,  B.  of  Verden,  in  Westphalia,  in  807, 
(April  30)  ;  there  was  also  another  Swibert  about  750,  abbot  in  Cumber- 
land, mentioned  by  Bede.  Many  writers  have  confounded  together 
S.  Swibert  the  Elder,  and  S.  Swibert  the  Younger.] 

S.  Swibert  was  a  Northumbrian  monk  who  had  been 
trained  under  S.  Egbert,  whom  he  accompanied  to  Ireland. 
Egbert  desired  greatly  the  conversion  of  Friesland,  but  was 
unable  himself  to  attempt  it,  and  his  zeal  communicated 
itself  to  his  disciple  Swibert,  and  when  S.  Willibrord 
sailed  in  690  for  that  country,  Swibert,  at  Egbert's  desire, 
accompanied  him.  They  landed  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Rhine,  at  Katwyck,  and  Willibrord  established  his  head 
quarters  at  Utrecht  Two  years  before,  Pepin  l'Herstall  had 
conquered  Radbod,  king  of  Frisia,  and  had  obliged  him 
to  ask  peace,  and  abandon  to  the  mayor  of  the  palace  his 
most  important  possessions,  amongst  others  the  whole  basin 
between  the  Meuse  and  the  Rhine,  where  stand  now  the 
town  of  Ley  den,  Delft,  Gouda,  Brill,  and  Dortrecht,  as  well 
as  the  city  of  Utrecht 

Finding  it  difficult  to  make  headway  against  the  super- 
stitions of  paganism,  Willibrord  appealed  to  the  authority 
of  Pepin,  who  sent  Willibrord  to  Rome  to  receive  mission 
and  benediction  for  his  work  from  the  Holy  See.  On  his 
return,  success  declared  for  the  apostles,  and  four  years 
after,  Pepin  sent  Willibrord  again  to  Rome  with  letters 
praying  the  pope  to  ordain  him  bishop  to  the  nation  he 
had  converted.  Pope  Sergius  consecrated  him  in  696,  and 
Willibrord  fixed  his  see  at  Utrecht,  of  which  he  was  the 
first  bishop.  In  the  meantime,  Swibert  had  been  labouring 
in  Hither  Friesland,  or  the  southern  part  of  Holland,  the 
northern  part  of  Brabant,  and  the  counties  of  Guelders 
and  Cleves,  with  great  success.  In  697,  Swibert  was  in 
England,  probably  in  quest  of  fellow-helpers  for  the  harvest, 
for  the  fields  were  white  thereto,  and  he  received  episcopal 

vol.  in.                                                                       2 
* g, 

1 8  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  u 

consecration  from  the  hands  of  S.  Wilfred  of  York,  then  in 
banishment  from  his  see.  Swibert,  invested  with  this  sacred 
character,  returned  to  his  flock,  and  committing  them  to 
the  care  of  S.  Willibrord,  penetrated  further  up  the  Rhine, 
and  preached  to  the  Boructarii,  a  people  living  below 
Cologne,  with  success.  But  the  Saxons  invading  the 
country,  swept  away  his  work,  and  he  retired  into  the  islet 
of  Kaiserwerth  in  the  Rhine,  which  Pepin  had  given  him, 
where  he  founded  a  monastery,  which  flourished  for  many 
ages,  till  it  was  converted  into  a  collegiate  church  of  secular 

His  relics  were  found  in  1626,  at  Kaiserwerth,  in  a  silver 
shrine,  and  there  are  preserved  and  venerated. 


(A.D.    874.) 
[Aberdeen  Breviary.] 

S.  Adrian,  bishop  of  S.  Andrews,  trained  the  holy  man 
from  his  childhood,  and  appointed  him  to  be  his  arch- 
deacon. He  afterwards  sent  him  to  preach  the  Gospel  in 
the  island  of  May,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Frith  of  Forth ;  he 
then  went  into  Fife.  The  Church  suffered  severely  from  the 
incursions  of  the  Northmen  who  ravaged  the  coasts,  burning 
churches  and  monasteries,  robbing  them  of  their  sacred 
vessels,  and  carrying  off  the  unfortunate  people  captive. 
S.  Monan  is  said  by  Butler  to  have  been  martyred  by  these 
invaders,  but  this  is  inaccurate.  There  is  no  evidence  that 
he  died  any  other  than  a  peaceful  death.  He  was  buried 
at  Inverny. 

t& — — £, 

S.   RUDKSIND.     After  Cahier. 

March,  p.  18.] 

[March  I. 


March  i.]  ^kS*.  Leo  &  Rudesind.  19 

S.  LEO,  ABP.  OF  ROUEN,  M. 

(ABOUT   A.D.  900.) 

[Gallican  Martyrology ;  on  this  day  at  Bayonne.  By  Saussaye  and 
Ferrarius  on  March  3rd.  Authority  : — Two  lives  of  no  greAt  antiquity, 
one  written  shortly  after  1293.] 

Leo,  Gervase,  and  Philip,  were  the  three  sons  of  pious 
parents  in  the  North  of  France;  Leo  was  elected  to  be 
archbishop  of  Rouen,  but  resigned  his  government  of  the 
diocese  into  the  hands  of  vicars,  and  betook  himself  with 
his  two  brothers  to  Bayonne,  where  Christianity  had  made 
but  small  progress,  much  heathen  superstition  remained, 
and  a  colony  of  Moors  had  settled  there.  He  was  well 
received,  and  succeeded  in  making  many  converts,  but  was 
killed  by  some  pirates  who  had  lived  in  the  town,  but  had 
been  ejected  by  the  citizens  on  account  of  their  nefarious 
deeds.  According  to  the  legend,  a  spring  of  water  bubbled 
up  where  S.  Leo  fell,  and  he  arose  and  carried  his  head  to 
the  place  where  he  had  last  been  preaching. 

He  is  represented  in  Art,  at  Bayonne,  where  he  is  greatly 
venerated,  as  a  bishop,  holding  his  head  in  his  hands. 

S.  RUDESIND,  B.  C. 

(A.D.    977.) 

[Spanish  and  Benedictine  Martyrologies.  Office  with  twelve  lections  in 
the  Coimbra  Breviary.  His  translation  is  observed  on  Sept.  1st.  Au- 
thority :— A  life  by  Brother  Stephen  of  Cella-nuova,  about  1180.] 

The  Blessed  Rudesind  was  the  son  of  a  Count  Gutierre 
da  Mendenez,  in  Gallicia.  His  mother  is  said  to  have  had 
a  foretoken  of  the  sanctity  of  the  child  that  was  about  to  be 
given  her,  whilst  praying  in  the  Church  of  S.  Salvador  on 
Mount  Corduba.     When  the  child  was  born,  she  desired 


20  ZzZ/£?    Of  the    SaintS.  [March  i. 

to  have  him  baptised  in  the  church,  but  as  there  was  no 
font  there,  one  had  to  be  brought  up  the  hill  in  a  cart. 
The  cart  broke  down,  says  the  popular  legend,  how- 
ever, the  font  continued  its  journey  without  it.  The 
child  grew  up  to  be  a  good  man,  and  he  was  appointed  to 
the  bishopric  of  Dumium,  a  see  which  has  ceased  to  exist. 
His  kinsman,  Sisnand,  bishop  of  Compostella,  was  a 
scandal  to  the  Church,  "  spending  all  his  time  in  sports, 
excesses,  and  vanities,  and  paying  no  attention  to  his 
duties."  Wherefore,  at  the  request  of  the  king,  Sancho, 
and  the  nobles  and  people,  Rudesind  undertook  the 
government  of  it,  and  Sancho  put  Sisnand  in  prison.  During 
the  absence  of  the  king  against  the  Moors,  the  Normans 
invaded  Gallicia,  whereupon  the  bishop  called  together  an 
army,  marched  against  them,  and  drove  them  back  to 
their  ships,  and  then  turned  his  arms  against  the  Moors, 
und  routed  them.  On  the  death  of  Sancho,  Sisnand 
escaped  from  prison,  attacked  Rudesind  on  Christmas 
night,  whilst  engaged  with  the  canons  in  the  sacred  offices, 
and  threatened  him,  sword  in  hand,  unless  he  resigned  the 
see.  Rudesind  at  once  laid  aside  his  office,  and  retired 
into  a  monastery,  where  he  assumed  the  habit,  and  after 
some  years  was  chosen  abbot. 

Lichfield  Cathedial.     dee  page  23. 
* j, 

% _ * 

March  ».j         Martyrs  under  Alexander.  21 

March  2. 

SS.  Martyrs,  under  the  Emperor  Alexander  at  Rome,  circ.  a.d.  219. 

SS.  Jovinus  and  Basileus,  MM.  at  Rome,  circ.  a.d.  258. 

SS.  Ductus,  B.M.,  Absalom,  Lakgius,  Herolus,  Primitius,  and 

Januarius,  MM.  at  Caesarea  in  Cappadocia. 
SS.  Paul,  Heraclius,  Secundola,  Januaria,  and  Luciosa,  MM. 

in  the  Port  of  Rome. 
S.  Simplicius,  Pope  of  Rome,  a.d.  483. 
S.  Joavan,  P.  at  S.  Paul  de  Leon,  6tk.  cent. 
SS.  Martyrs,  under  the  Lombards,  in  Italy,  circ,  a.d.  579. 
S.  Ceadda,  or  Chad,  B.  of  Lichfield,  a.d.  672. 
S.  Willeich,  P.  at  Keiser-iverdt,  on  the  Rhine,  circ.  a.d.  716. 
B.  Charles  the  Good,  M.,  Count  of  Flanders,  a.d.  1117. 


(CIRC.    A.D.    219.) 

EARLY  all  the  Latin  Martyrologies  commemo- 
rate these  martyrs,  without  giving  their  names. 
Baronius  added  to  the  Roman  Martyrology, 
BJ  that  they  suffered  under  Ulpian  the  prsefect ; 
this  was  a  conjecture  of  his,  for  Ulpian  was  bitterly  hostile 
to  the  Christians,  and  it  was  under  him  that  S.  Martina 
(Jan.  1  st)  suffered.  Alexander  himself,  only  seventeen  when 
he  came  to  the  throne,  was  of  mild  disposition,  and  the 
reins  of  government  were  in  the  hands  of  his  mother 
Mamaea,  who,  with  the  approbation  of  the  senate,  chose 
sixteen  of  the  wisest  and  most  virtuous  senators  as  a  council 
of  state,  and  at  the  head  of  this  placed  the  learned  Ulpian, 
a  prudent  governor,  and  severe  disciplinarian,  who  could 
not  brook  that  certain  citizens  should  worship  God  in  any 
way  than  that  of  the  established  religion,  and  looked  on 
Christianity  as  a  dangerous  political  element  in  the  state, 
which  demanded  extirpation. 

* -* 


22  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  a. 

(a.d.  483.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authorities  : — Evagrius,  Hist.  Eccl. ,  and  his 
own  letters.] 

S.  Simplicius  was  born  at  Tivoli,  and  succeeded  S. 
Hilary  in  the  papal  throne,  in  468.  He  strongly  resisted 
the  Emperor  Leo,  who  desired  to  elevate  the  patriarch  of 
Constantinople  to  the  second  rank  in  the  Church,  above 
the  patriarchs  of  Antioch  and  Alexandria.  He  was  also 
engaged  in  controversy  with  Acacius  of  Constantinople 
concerning  the  appointment  of  Peter  Mongus  to  the  see  of 
Alexandria.  After  having  governed  the  Church  in  most 
difficult  and  stormy  times,  Simplicius  died  on  March  2nd, 
in  the  year  483 ;  and  was  buried  in  S.  Peter's. 

S.  JOAVAN,  P.  C. 
(6th  cent.) 

[Venerated  in  Brittany.  Authorities  :— A  Life  by  Albert  Le  Grand,  and 
the  lections  of  the  Church  of  S.  Paul  de  Leon.  Albert  Le  Grand  wrote 
his  life  in  1623,  from  old  MSS.  histories  and  legends  preserved  at  Leon  in 
his  time.] 

This  saint  was  an  Irishman  by  birth,  and  nephew  of 
S.  Paul  of  Leon.  He  studied  with  his  uncle  in  Britain,  and 
then  returned  to  Ireland,  but  hearing  that  S.  Paul  had 
gone  into  Brittany,  he  departed  for  that  country,  and  after 
having  passed  his  noviciate  in  the  monastery  of  Llanatere- 
necan,  under  S.  Judulus,  he  departed  to  Le'on,  and  received 
priest's  orders  from  his  uncle,  who  appointed  him  to  the 
isle  of  Baz.  He  is  patron  of  two  parishes  in  the  diocese  of 
S.  Paul  de  Leon. 


* * 

March  a.]  .S.     Chad.  2$ 


(CIRC.  A.D.  579.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  :— The  Dialogues  of  S.  Gregory  the 
Great,  lib.  iii.J 

The  Lombards  in  their  ravages  of  the  North  of  Italy  put 
to  death  forty  husbandmen,  who  refused  to  eat  meats  they 
had  offered  to  their  idols,  and  about  four  hundred  who 
refused  to  pay  reverence  to  the  head  of  a  goat,  which  they 
regarded  with  a  peculiar  veneration. 

(a.d.    672.) 

[Roman,  Anglican,  Scottish,  and  Irish  Martyrologies.  Authorities: — A 
life  is  given  by  Bede,  lib.  3,  cap.  23,  24,  28 ;  Lib.  4,  cap.  2,  3,  also  in  a 
MS.  printed  in  the  Monasticon,  and  a  Metrical  Life  attributed  to  Robert 
of  Gloucester.] 

S.  Chad  or  Ceadda  was,  perhaps,  the  youngest  of  the 
four  brothers,  Cedd,  Cynebil,  and  Celin,  all  of  whom  were 
eminent  priests.  Our  saint  has  sometimes  been  confounded 
with  his  brother  Cedd,  bishop  among  the  East  Saxons, 
whose  life  was  related  on  January  7th.  We  know  neither 
the  date  nor  the  place  of  his  birth.  It  is  certain  he  was  an 
Angle,  and  a  native  of  Northumbria,  and  that  he  flourished 
in  the  7th  century,  though  Dempster  wishes  to  claim  him  as 
a  Scottish,  and  Colgan  as  an  Irish,  saint.  The  date  620 
a.d.  has  been  suggested  as  the  probable  time  of  Chad's 

Bede  tells  us  that  S.  Chad  was  a  pupil  of  Aidan.  That 
bishop  required  the  young  men  who  studied  with  him  to 
spend  much  time  in  reading  Holy  Writ,  and  to  learn  by 
heart  large  portions  of  the  Psalter,  which  they  would 
require  in  their  devotions. 

* * 

* . — — — — * 

24  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

At  the  death  of  Aidan,  in  651,  he  went  to  Ireland,  which 
was  then  full  of  men  of  learning  and  piety.  The  ravages 
of  the  Teutonic  hordes  on  the  continent  had  driven  thither 
many  illustrious  foreigners.  Then  Ireland  was  fulfilling  the 
mission  ascribed  to  the  Celtic  race,  that  of  supplying  the 
link  between  Latin  and  Teutonic  civilization.  S.  Chad, 
while  in  Ireland,  made  the  acquaintance  of  Egbert,  who 
was  afterwards  abbot  of  Iona. 

Cedd  had,  at  the  request  of  Ethelwald,  King  of  Deira, 
established  a  monastery  at  Lastingham,  in  Yorkshire.  It 
stood  just  on  the  edge  of  that  wide  expanse  of  moorland 
which  extends  thirty  miles  inland  from  the  coast. 

Bishop  Cedd  returned  thither  from  his  diocese  of  Lon- 
don many  years  after,  at  a  time  when  a  plague  was  raging. 
He  caught  it,  and  whilst  lying  on  his  death-bed,  bequeathed 
the  care  of  the  monastery  to  his  brother,  Chad,  who  was 
still  in  Ireland. 

S.  Chad,  on  his  return,  ruled  the  monastery  with  great  care 
and  prudence,  and  received  all  who  sought  his  hospitality 
with  kindness  and  humility.  One  day  a  stranger  arrived  at 
the  gate,  praying  to  be  received  into  the  brotherhood.  This 
was  Owini,  lately  steward  of  Queen  Ethelreda.  Tradition 
relates  that  as  he  pursued  his  toilsome  journey  from  the 
fens  which  surrounded  the  abbey  of  Ethelreda  into  York- 
shire, the  pilgrim  erected  crosses  by  the  roadside  to  guide 
any  burdened  souls  who  might  hereafter  seek  the  same 
haven  of  rest.  While  quietly  keeping  the  strict  rule  of  S. 
Columba  at  Lastingham,  our  saint  was  summoned  to  the 
episcopate  by  King  Oswy,  of  Northumbria. 

But  we  must  go  back  a  little  in  our  history.  When  the 
decision  of  the  council  or  parliament,  held  at  Whitby,  in 
664,  was  adverse  to  the  Keltic  rite,  Cedd  renounced  the 
customs  of  Lindisfarne,  but  Colman,  bishop  of  Lindisfarne, 
obstinately  holding  to  them,  withdrew  from  Northumbria 

* # 


March,  p.  24.] 

[March  2. 

March  a.]  6".   Chad.  25 

into  Scotland  with  all  those  who  were  willing  to  follow  him. 
Tuda  succeeded  him  in  the  pontificate  of  Northumbria, 
but  died  soon  after. 

"  In  the  meanwhile,"  says  Bede,  "  King  Alchfrid  (of 
Deira)  sent  Wilfrid  the  priest  to  the  king  of  the  Gauls,  to 
have  him  consecrated  bishop  for  himself  and  his  subjects. 
Now  he  sent  him  to  be  ordained  to  Agilbert,  of  whom  we 
said  above  that  he  left  Britain,  and  was  made  bishop  of  the 
city  of  Paris.  Wilfrid  was  consecrated,  a.d.  665,  by  him 
with  great  pomp  ;  many  bishops  coming  together  for  that 
purpose  in  a  village  belonging  to  the  king  (Clothair  III.  of 
Neustria)  called  Compiegne.  While  he  was  still  making 
some  stay  abroad,  after  his  ordination,  king  Oswy,  following 
the  example  of  his  son,  sent  to  Kent  a  holy  man  of  modest 
character,  sufficiently  well  read  in  the  Scriptures,  and  dili- 
gently carrying  out  into  practice  what  he  had  learnt  from 
the  Scriptures,  to  be  ordained  bishop  of  the  Church  at 
York.  Now  this  was  a  priest  named  Ceadda  (Chad), 
brother  of  the  most  reverend  prelate  Cedd,  of  whom  we 
have  made  frequent  mention,  and  abbot  of  the  monastery 
called  Lastingham.  The  king  also  sent  with  him  his  own 
priest,  Eadhed  by  name,  who  was  afterwards,  in  the  reign 
of  Egfrid,  made  bishop  of  the  Church  of  Ripon.  But 
when  they  arrived  in  Kent,  they  found  that  Archbishop 
Deusdedit  had  departed  this  life,  and  that  no  other  prelate 
was  as  yet  appointed  in  his  place.  Whereupon  they  turned 
aside  to  the  province  of  the  West  Saxons,  where  Wini  was 
bishop,  and  by  him  the  above-mentioned  person  was  conse- 
crated bishop ;  two  bishops  of  the  British  nation,  who  kept 
Easter  Sunday  according  to  canonical  custom  from  the  14th 
to  the  20th  day  of  the  moon,  being  associated  with  him ; 
for  at  that  time  there  was  no  other  bishop  in  all  Britain 
canonically  ordained,  except  Wini. 

"  Chad  then,  being  consecrated  a  bishop,  began  at  once 

* 4< 

26  Z.WW  0/"  /^  Saints.  [March  a. 

to  devote  himself  to  ecclesiastical  truth  and  to  chastity ;  to 
apply  himself  to  the  practice  of  humility,  continence,  and 
study ;  to  travel  about,  not  on  horseback,  but  after  the 
manner  of  the  apostles,  on  foot,  to  preach  the  gospel  in  the 
towns,  the  open  country,  cottages,  villages,  and  casdes ;  for 
he  was  one  of  the  disciples  of  Aidan,  and  endeavoured  to 
instruct  his  hearers  by  the  same  actions  and  behaviour,  ac- 
cording to  his  master's  example  and  that  of  his  own  brother 
Cedd.  Wilfrid  also,  who  had  already  been  made  a  bishop, 
coming  into  Britain,  a.d.  666,  in  like  manner  by  his  doc- 
trine brought  into  the  English  Church  many  rules  of 
Catholic  observance.  Whence  it  came  to  pass  that  the 
Catholic  institutions  daily  gained  strength,  and  all  the  Scots 
that  dwelt  in  England  either  conformed  to  these  or  returned 
into  their  own  country." 

This  is  Bede's  account  of  the  consecration  of  Wilfrid  and 
Chad.  At  that  time  the  diocese  of  York  comprised  the 
whole  of  Northumbria,  including  the  south  of  Scotland. 
Under  Oswald  the  see  of  Lindisfarne — the  Iona  of  the 
Anglo-Saxons — was  founded,  containing  within  its  jurisdic- 
diction  the  kingdom  of  Bernicia,  until  the  establishment  by 
Theodore  of  another  see  at  Hexham.  The  writer  of 
Wilfrid's  life  tells  us  that  he  objected  to  being  consecrated 
by  the  English  bishops,  inasmuch  as  they  were  converts  to 
the  Scottish  calculation  regarding  the  celebration  of  Easter, 
or  had  received  consecration  from  those  who  were  of  that 
opinion.  Though  Wini,  who  had  been  consecrated  in  Gaul, 
cannot  be  placed  in  either  of  these  classes,  yet  Wilfrid 
knew  he  would  summon  to  assist  him  two  bishops  who  be- 
longed to  one  of  them;  hence  his  preference  for  Gaul. 
Wilfrid's  delay  in  Gaul,  perhaps,  excited  the  King's  suspi- 
cions that  he,  like  his  friend  Agilbert,  was  seeking  a  mitre 
there ;  or  it  may  be  that  the  king,  influenced  by  the  Scottish 
party  (who   could   not  forgive  Wilfrid  for  the  victory  he 

*— * 

9 $ 

March  ».]  5".     C&Zdf.  27 

gained  over  them  at  Whitby),  consented  to  the  election  of 
Chad  to  the  see. 

Chad  has  been  severely  censured  for  accepting  the 
bishopric  under  these  circumstances.  It  may  be,  however, 
that  he,  stirred  by  sorrow  at  seeing  the  diocese  left  without 
a  head,  and  doubting  too,  perhaps,  whether  Wilfrid  would 
return,  adopted  this  course,  which  may  be  condemned  as 

S.  Chad  is  commemorated  in  some  Breviaries  as  an  arch- 
bishop. But  he  was  only  a  bishop,  for  that  dignity  had 
fallen  into  abeyance  from  the  time  that  Paulinus  fled  into 
Kent  But  though  no  suffragans  acknowledged  Chad  as 
their  superior,  he  had  ample  scope  for  the  most  abundant 
energy.  We  have  given  above  Bede's  account  of  his  un- 
tiring labours ;  let  us  now  hear  that  of  the  metrical  Life 
attributed  to  Robert  of  Gloucester. 

He  endeavoured  earnestly,  night  and  day,  when  he  had  thither  come, 

To  guard  well  holy  Church,  and  to  uphold  Christendom. 

He  went  into  all  his  bishopric,  and  preacht  full  fast, 

Much  of  that  folk,  through  his  word,  to  God  their  hearts  cast, 

All  afoot  he  travelled  about,  nor  kept  he  any  state, 

Rich  man  though  he  was  made  he  reckoned  there  of  little  great 

The  Archbishop  of  York  had  not  him  used  to  go 

To  preach  about  on  his  feet,  nor  another  none  the  mo, 

They  ride  upon  their  palfreys,  lest  they  should  spurn  their  toe, 

But  riches  and  wordly  state  doth  to  holy  Church  woe. 

Theodore,  the  new  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  arrived  in 
England  in  a.d.  669.  "  Soon  after,"  says  Bede,  "  he  visited 
the  whole  island,  wherever  the  tribes  of  the  Angles  dwelt, 
for  he  was  willingly  entertained  and  heard  by  all  persons ; 
and  everywhere  he  taught  the  right  rule  of  life,  and  the 
canonical  custom  of  celebrating  Easter.  He  was  the  first 
archbishop  whom  all  the  English  Church  obeyed. 

Visiting  Northumbria,  he  charged  Chad  with  not  being 
duly  consecrated.     The  saint  replied  with  great  humility, 

* # 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  a. 

"  If  thou  knowest  that  I  have  not  duly  received  the  episco- 
pate, I  willingly  resign  the  office,  for  I  never  thought  myself 
worthy  of  it ;  but,  though  unworthy,  I  consented  to  under- 
take it  for  obedience  sake."  Theodore  hearing  his  humble 
answer,  said  that  he  should  not  resign  the  episcopate,  but 
he  himself  completed  his  ordination  again  after  the  Roman 
manner.  He  probably  advised  Chad  to  resign  his  see  to 
Wilfrid,  for  we  next  hear  of  our  saint  in  retirement  at 

In  669,  Jaruman,  bishop  of  the  Mercians,  died.  King 
Wulfhere  asked  Theodore  to  send  them  a  bishop.  The 
archbishop  did  not  wish  to  consecrate  a  fresh  one,  so  he 
begged  King  Oswy  to  let  Chad,  who  was  then  at  Lasting- 
ham,  be  their  bishop.  Theodore  knowing  that  it  was  Chad's 
custom  to  go  about  the  work  of  the  gospel  on  foot,  rather 
than  on  horseback,  bade  our  saint  ride  whenever  he  had  a 
long  journey  to  perform,  but,  finding  Chad  unwilling  to 
comply,  the  archbishop  with  his  own  hands  lifted  him  on 
horseback,  for  he  thought  him  a  holy  man,  and  obliged  him 
to  ride  wherever  he  had  need  to  go. 

Though  Chad  was  bishop  of  Lindisfarne  for  so  short  a 
time,  he  left  his  mark  on  the  affections  of  the  people,  for 
we  find  that  at  least  one  chantry  was  dedicated  in  his  name 
at  York  Minster.  Soon  after  his  election  to  the  bishopric 
of  the  Mercians,  he  set  out  for  Repton  in  Derbyshire, 
where  Diuma,  the  first  bishop  of  the  Mercians,  had  estab- 
lished his  see. 

Whether  our  saint  desired  a  more  central  position  for  the 
episcopal  see,  or  was  influenced  by  the  wish  to  do  honour 
to  a  spot  enriched  with  the  blood  of  martyrs,  Bede  does 
not  tell  us,  but  Chad  established  the  Mercian  see  at  Lich- 
field, then  called  Licetfield,  or  the  Field  of  the  Dead, 
where  one  thousand  British  Christians  are  said  to  have  been 
put  to  death. 



* -* 

March  a.]  S.    Chad.  2<) 

His  new  diocese  was  not  much  less  in  extent  than  that 
of  Northumbria.  It  comprised  seventeen  counties,  and 
stretched  from  the  banks  of  the  Severn  to  the  shores  of  the 
German  Ocean.  Theodore,  years  afterwards,  detached 
from  it  the  sees  of  Worcester,  Leicester,  Lindesey  (in  Lin- 
colnshire), and  Hereford.  Though  it  was  far  beyond  the 
power  of  one  man  to  administer  it  effectually,  yet  Bede 
witnesses  that  "  Chad  took  care  to  administer  the  same 
with  great  rectitude  of  life,  according  to  the  example  of  the 
ancients.  King  Wulfhere  also  gave  him  land  of  fifty 
families  to  build  a  monastery  at  the  place  called  Ad  Barve, 
i.e.,  *  At  the  wood,'  in  the  province  of  Lindesey,  wherein 
monks  of  the  regular  life  instituted  by  him  continue  to  this 
day."  "Ad  Barve"  is  conjectured  by  Smith,  of  Durham,  to 
be  Barton-on-Humber,  where  there  is  still  standing  a  very 
ancient  church,  admitted  by  Rickman  to  be  partly  Saxon, 
dedicated  to  S.  Peter. 

After  fixing  his  see  at  Lichfield,  Bede  tells  us  "  he  built 
himself  a  habitation  not  far  from  the  Church,  wherein  he  was 
wont  to  pray  and  read  with  seven  or  eight  of  the  brethren, 
as  often  as  he  had  any  spare  time  from  the  labour  and 
ministry  of  the  Word.  When  he  had  most  gloriously 
governed  the  Church  in  that  province  two  years  and  a  half, 
in  the  dispensation  of  the  Most  High  Judge,  there  came 
round  the  time  of  which  Ecclesiastes  speaks.  "  There  is  a 
time  to  cast  stones,  and  a  time  to  gather  them  together," 
for  a  deadly  sickness  sent  from  heaven  came  upon  that 
place,  to  transfer,  by  the  death  of  the  flesh,  the  living 
stones  of  the  Church  from  their  earthly  abodes  to  the 
heavenly  building.  And  after  many  of  the  Church  of 
that  most  reverend  prelate  had  been  taken  out  of  i  the 
flesh,  his  hour  also  drew  near  wherein  he  was  to  pass  out 
of  this  world  to  our  Lord.  It  happened  that  one  day, 
Owini,  a  monk  of  };reat  merit,  the  same  that  left  his  worldly 

4f ,£ 



Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  1, 


mistress  to  become  a  subject  of  the  heavenly  king,  at  Last- 
ingham,  was  busy  labouring  alone  near  the  oratory,  where 
the  bishop  was  praying,  the  other  monks  having  gone  to 
the  Church,  this  monk,  I  say,  heard  the  voice  of  persons 
singing  most  sweetly,  and  rejoicing,  and  appearing  to  de- 
scend from  heaven.  He  heard  the  voice  approaching  from 
the  south-east,  till  it  came  to  the  roof  of  the  oratory,  where 
the  bishop  was,  and  entering  therein,  filled  the  same  and  all 
about  it.  After  a  time  he  perceived  the  same  song  of  joy 
ascend  from  the  oratory,  and  return  heavenwards  the  same 
way  it  came,  with  inexpressible  sweetness.  Presently  the 
bishop  opened  the  window  of  the  oratory,  and,  making  a 
noise  with  his  hand,  ordered  him  to  ask  the  seven  brethren 
who  were  in  the  church,  to  come  to  him  at  once.  When 
they  were  come,  he  first  admonished  them  to  preserve  the 
virtue  of  peace  among  themselves,  and  towards  all  the 
faithful,  also  to  practise  indefatigably  the  rules  of  regular 
discipline,  which  they  had  either  been  taught  by  him  or 
seen  him  observe,  or  had  noticed  in  the  words  or  actions  of 
the  former  fathers.  Then  he  added  that  the  day  of  his 
death  was  at  hand  :  '  For,'  said  he,  '  that  amiable  guest  who 
was  wont  to  visit  our  brethren,  has  vouchsafed  to  come  to 
me  also  to-day,  and  to  call  me  out  of  this  world.  Return, 
therefore,  to  the  church,  and  speak  to  the  brethren,  that 
they  in  their  prayers  recommend  my  passage  to  the  Lord, 
and  that  they  be  careful  to  provide  for  their  own,  the  hour 
whereof  is  uncertain,  by  watching,  prayer,  and  good  works.' 
When  they,  receiving  his  blessing,  had  gone  away  in  sorrow, 
Owini  returned  alone,  and  casting  himself  on  the  ground 
prayed  the  bishop  to  tell  him  what  that  song  of  joy  was 
which  he  heard  coming  to  the  oratory.  The  bishop,  bid- 
ding him  conceal  what  he  had  heard  till  after  his  death, 
said,  '  They  were  angelic  spirits,  who  came  to  call  me  to 
my  heavenly  reward,  which  I  have  always  longed  after,  and 


* j — * 

March  a.j  .S".   Chad.  3 1 

they  promised  they  would  return  seven  days'  hence,  and 
take  me  away  with  them.'  His  languishing  sickness  in- 
creasing daily,  on  the  seventh  day,  when  he  had  prepared 
for  death  by  receiving  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord, 
his  soul  being  delivered  from  the  prison  of  the  body,  the 
angels,  as  may  justly  be  believed,  attending  him,  he  de- 
parted to  the  joys  of  heaven. 

"  It  is  no  wonder  that  he  joyfully  beheld  the  day  of  his 
death,  or  rather  the  day  of  our  Lord,  which  he  had  always 
anxiously  looked  for  till  it  came;  for  notwitstanding  his 
many  merits  of  continence,  humility,  teaching,  prayer, 
voluntary  poverty,  and  other  virtues,  he  was  so  full  of  the 
fear  of  God,  so  mindful  of  his  last  end  in  all  his  actions, 
that,  as  I  was  informed  by  one  of  the  brothers,  who  in- 
structed me  in  divinity,  and  who  had  been  bred  in  his 
monastery,  whose  name  was  Trumhere,  if  it  happened  that 
there  blew  a  strong  gust  of  wind,  when  he  was  reading  or 
doing  anything  else,  he  at  once  called  upon  God  for  mercy, 
and  begged  it  might  be  extended  to  all  mankind.  If  it 
blew  stronger,  he,  prostrating  himself,  prayed  more  earnestly. 
But  if  it  proved  a  violent  storm  of  wind  or  rain,  or  of 
thunder  and  lightning,  he  would  pray  and  repeat  Psalms  in 
the  church  till  the  weather  became  calm.  Being  asked  by 
his  followers  why  he  did  so,  he  answered,  '  Have  ye  not 
read, — '  The  Lord  also  thundered  in  the  heavens,  and  the 
Highest  gave  forth  His  voice ;  yea,  He  sent  out  his  arrows 
and  scattered  them,  and  he  shot  out  lightnings  and  discom- 
fited them.'  For  the  Lord  moves  the  air,  raises  the  winds, 
darts  lightning,  and  thunders  from  heaven  to  excite  the 
inhabitants  of  the  earth  to  fear  Him  ;  to  put  them  in  mind 
of  the  future  judgment ;  to  dispel  their  pride  and  vanquish 
their  boldness,  by  bringing  into  their  thoughts  that  dreadful 
time  when,  the  heavens  and  the  earth  being  in  a  flame,  He 
will  come  in  the  clouds  with  great  power  and  majesty,  to 

* iff 

* ; * 

32  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  a. 

judge  the  quick  and  the  dead.  Wherefore  it  behoves  us  to 
answer  His  heavenly  admonition  with  due  fear  and  love.' 

"  Chad  died  on  the  second  of  March,  and  was  first  buried 
by  S.  Mary's  Church,  but  afterwards,  when  the  Church  of 
the  most  Holy  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  Peter,  was  built,  his 
bones  were  translated  into  it.  In  both  which  places  as  a 
testimony  of  his  virtue,  frequent  miraculous  cures  are  wont 
to  be  wrought  The  place  of  the  sepulchre  is  a  wooden 
monument,  made  like  a  little  house  covered,  having  a  hole 
in  the  wall,  through  which  those  that  go  thither  for  devotion 
usually  put  in  their  hand  and  take  out  some  of  the  dust, 
which  they  put  into  water  and  give  to  sick  cattle  or  men  to 
drink,  upon  which  they  are  presently  eased  of  their  infir- 
mity and  restored  to  health." 

We  have  told  the  life  of  S.  Chad  in  the  reverent  language 
of  Bede,  who,  as  he  says,  had  some  of  the  details  direct 
from  those  who  had  studied  under  the  saint.  Though 
his  episcopate  was  short,  it  was  abundantly  esteemed  by  the 
warm-hearted  Mercians,  for  thirty-one  churches  are  dedi- 
cated in  his  honour,  all  in  the  midland  counties,  and  either 
in  or  near  the  ancient  diocese  of  Lichfield.  The  first 
church  ever  built  in  Shrewsbury  was  named  after  him,  and 
when  the  old  building  fell,  in  the  year  1788,  an  ancient 
wooden  figure  of  the  patron  escaped  destruction,  which  is 
still  preserved  in  the  new  church.  The  carver  has  repre- 
sented him  in  his  pontifical  robes  and  a  mitre,  with  a  book 
in  his  right  hand,  and  a  pastoral  staff  in  his  left. 

His  well  is  shown  at  Lichfield.  There  was  one  in  London 
called  Chad's  Well,  the  water  of  which  was  sold  to  vale- 
tudinarians at  sixpence  a  glass.  Doubtless,  from  the  miracles 
alleged  to  have  been  wrought  by  mixing  a  little  dust  from 
his  shrine  with  water,  he  got  the  character  of  patron  saint 
of  medicinal  springs.  At  Chadshunt  there  was  an  oratory 
and  well  bearing  his  name.     The  priest  received  as  much 




March  2.]  S.  Chad.  33 

as  ;£i6  a-year  from  the  offerings  of  pilgrims.  Chadwell — 
one  source  of  the  New  Riyer — is,  perhaps,  a  corruption  for 
S.  Chad's  Well. 

No  writings  of  our  saint  have  survived,  but  in  Lichfield 
Cathedral  library  there  is  a  MS.  of  the  7  th  century  in 
Anglo-Saxon  character,  containing  the  Gospels  of  S. 
Matthew,  S.  Mark,  and  part  of  S.  Luke,  which  is  known 
by  the  name  of  Chad's  Gospel. 

Among  the  Bodleian  MSS.  there  is  an  Anglo-Saxon 
homily  for  S.  Chad's  day,  written  in  the  Middle  Anglian 
dialect,  which  stretched  from  Lichfield  to  Peterborough. 

His  relics  were  translated  from  the  wooden  shrine  to  the 
cathedral,  when  it  was  rebuilt  by  Bishop  Roger,  in  honour 
of  SS.  Mary  and  Chad.  In  1296,  Walter  Langton  was 
raised  to  the  see  of  Lichfield.  He  built  the  Lady  Chapel, 
and  there  erected  a  beautiful  shrine,  at  the  enormous  cost 
of  ^2,000,  to  receive  the  relics  of  S.  Chad.  This  was 
spared  by  Henry  VIII. 

His  emblem  in  the  Clog  Almanacks  is  a  branch.  Per- 
haps this  was  suggested  by  the  Gospel,  viz.,  S.  John  v., 
formerly  read  on  the  Feast  of  his  Translation,  which 
speaks  of  the  fruitful  branches  of  the  vine.  This  translation 
was  formerly  celebrated  with  great  pomp  at  Lichfield,  on 
August  2nd. 

As  long  as  the  virtues  of  chastity,  humility,  and  a  for- 
saking all  for  Christ's  sake  are  esteemed  among  men,  the 
name  of  the  apostle  of  the  Mercians  ought  not  to  be  for- 

A  beautiful  legend  formerly  inscribed  beneath  the 
cloister  windows  of  Peterborough,  recorded  the  con- 
version of  King  Wulfhere's  sons,  Wulfade  and  Rufine, 
by  S.  Chad,  and  their  murder  by  their  father,  for  he 
had  turned  heathen  again  in  spite  of  the  entreaties  of 
Queen  Ermenild : — 

vol.  in.  3 



*— * 

34  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  *. 

By  Queen  Ermenild  had  King  Wulfere 
These  twey  sons  that  ye  see  here. 
Wulfade  rideth  as  he  was  wont, 
Into  the  forest  the  hart  to  hunt  ; 
Fore  all  his  men  Wulfade  is  gone, 
And  sought,  himself,  the  hart  alone. 
The  hart  brought  Wulfade  to  a  well, 
That  was  beside  Seynt  Chaddy's  cell. 
Wulfade  asked  of  Seynt  Chad, 
Where  is  the  hart  that  me  hath  led  ? 
The  hart  that  hither  thee  hath  brought, 
Is  sent  by  Christ,  that  thee  hath  bought. 
Wulfade  prayed  Chad,  that  ghostly  Leech, 
The  faith  of  Christ  him  for  to  teach. 
Seynt  Chad  teacheth  Wulfade  the  feyth, 
And  words  of  baptism  over  him  seyth. 
Seynt  Chad  devoutly  to  mass  him  dight, 
And  hoseled  Wulfade  Christy's  knight. 
Wulfade  wished  Seynt  Chad  that  day, 
For  his  brother  Rufine  to  pray. 

The  legend  goes  on  to  say  that  Rufine  was  baptized  also 
by  the  saint  The  king's  steward,  Werbode  (who  had  been 
rebuked  by  the  two  princes  for  seeking  the  hand  of  their 
sister,  Werburga),  told  Wulfere  of  their  becoming  Christians, 
and  that  they  were  then  praying  in  S.  Chad's  oratory.  The 
king  took  horse  thither  at  once,  and  slew  them  both  with 
his  own  hand.  Stung  with  remorse,  he  fell  ill,  and  was 
counselled  by  his  queen  to  ask  Chad  to  shrive  him.  As  a 
penance  the  saint  told  him  to  build  several  abbeys,  and 
amongst  the  number  he  completed  Peterborough  Minster, 
which  his  father  had  begun.  This  legend  is  told  with  very 
full  and  touching  details  in  a  Latin  version  printed  in  the 

The  Latin  version  is  this.  King  Wulfere,  son  of  Penda 
the  Strenuous,  had  been  baptized  many  years  before  by  B. 
Finan,  and  promised  at  the  font,  and  again  when  he  wedded 

1  Many  of  these  details  of  S.  Chad's  life  are  taken  from  Mr.  Warner's  excellent 
life  of  S.  Chad. 

*" * 

* * 

March  a.]  .S".     Chad.  35 

Ermenilda,  of  the  royal  house  of  Kent,  to  destroy  all  the 
idols  in  his  realm.  He  neglected  to  do  so,  and  let  his 
three  sons,  Wulfade,  Rufine,  and  Kenred  remain  un- 
baptized.  His  beauteous  daughter,  Werburga,  had  been 
dedicated  to  Christ  as  a  virgin  by  the  Queen ;  yet,  when 
Werbode,  his  chief  councillor,  and  the  chief  supporter  of 
idolatry  in  the  realm,  sought  her  hand  in  marriage,  the 
king  consented.  The  queen,  Ermenilda,  however,  sharply 
rebuked  him  for  his  presumption.  The  brothers  threatened 
him  with  their  sore  vengeance  if  he  again  preferred  his  low- 
born suit  to  their  sister.  Their  disdainful  words  cost  them 

While  Chad  was  praying  by  a  fountain  near  his  cell,  a 
hart,  with  quivering  limbs  and  panting  breath,  leaped  into 
the  cooling  stream.  Pitying  its  distress,  the  saint  covered 
him  with  boughs,  then  placing  a  rope  round  its  neck,  he 
let  it  graze  in  the  forest.  Wulfade  came  up,  heated  in  the 
chase,  and  asked  where  the  beast  had  gone.  The  saint 
replied,  "Am  I  keeper  of  the  hart?  Yet,  through  the 
ministry  of  the  hart  I  have  become  the  guide  of  thy  salva- 
tion. The  hart  bathing  in  the  fountain  foreshoweth  to  thee 
the  laver  of  baptism,  as  the  text  says :  As  the  hart  panteth 
after  the  water-brooks,  so  panteth  my  soul  after  thee,  O  God." 

Many  other  things  did  the  saint  set  forth  about  the  min- 
istry of  dumb  animals  to  the  faithful.  The  dove  from  the 
ark  told  that  the  waters  were  dried  up. 

The  young  prince  replied,  "  The  things  you  tell  me  would 
be  more  likely  to  work  faith  in  me  if  the  hart  you  have 
taught  to  wander  in  the  forest  with  the  rope  round  its  neck 
were  to  appear  in  answer  to  your  prayers."  The  saint  pros- 
trated himself  in  prayer,  and  lo !  the  hart  burst  from  the 
thicket  The  saint  exclaimed,  "  All  things  are  possible  to 
him  that  believeth.  Hear  then,  and  believe  the  faith  of 
Christ."    The  saint  instructed  him,  and  baptized  him.     The 

* * 

gh * 

36  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March* 

next  day  he  received  the  Eucharist,  and  went  home,  and 
told  his  brother  Rufine  that  he  had  become  a  Christian. 
The  other  said,  "  I  have  long  wished  for  baptism ;  I  will 
seek  holy  Chad."  The  brothers  set  out  together.  Rufine 
espying  the  hart  with  the  cord  round  its  neck,  gave  hot 
chase ;  the  animal  made  for  the  saint's  cell,  and  leaped  into 
the  fountain  as  before.  Rufine  saw  a  venerable  man  pray- 
ing near.  He  said,  "  Art  thou,  my  lord,  father  Chad,  guide 
of  my  brother  Wulfade  to  salvation  ?"  He  answered,  "  I 
am."  The  prince  earnestly  desiring  baptism,  Chad  bap- 
tized him,  Wulfade  holding  him  at  the  font,  after  the  man- 
ner taught  by  holy  Church. 

Then  they  departed,  but  returned  daily  to  him.  Wer- 
bode  stealthily  spied  their  ways  and  doings,  and  told  their 
father  that  they  had  become  Christians,  and  were  then 
worshipping  in  Chad's  oratory,  adding  that  their  conversion 
would  alienate  his  subjects.  The  king  set  out  in  anger  for 
the  cell,  the  queen  sending  Werbode  before  to  tell  the  princes 
of  his  approach,  that  they  might  hide.  But  Werbode  only 
looked  in  at  the  window  of  the  oratory,  and  saw  them  pray- 
ing earnestly.  He  returned  to  the  king,  and  told  him  that 
his  sons  were  obstinate  in  their  purpose  of  worshipping 
Christ.  The  king,  pale  with  anger,  rushed  towards  the 
oratory.  He  threatened  them  with  his  vengeance  for  break- 
ing the  laws  of  the  land  by  becoming  Christians,  and  bade 
them  renounce  Christ.  Wulfade  replied,  "  They  did  not 
want  to  break  the  laws,  and  that  the  king  himself  once  pro- 
fessed the  faith  which  now  he  renounced.  They  wished  to 
retain  his  fatherly  affection,  but  no  tortures  could  turn 
them  from  Christ."  The  king  rushed  furiously  upon  him, 
and  cut  off  his  head.  His  brother,  Rufine,  fled,  but  his 
father  pursued  him,  and  gave  him  a  mortal  wound.  Thus 
these  two  departed  to  celestial  glory.  Werbode  was  smitten 
with  madness  when  they  returned  to  the  castle  and  told  the 

* -* 

March ».]  5".   Chad.  37 

murder  in  the  ears  of  all.  The  queen  buried  her  sons 
honourably  in  one  stone  tomb,  and  withdrew  with  her 
daughter,  Werburga,  to  the  monastery  at  Sheppey,  and  then 
to  that  of  Ely. 

The  king,  overcome  with  remorse,  fell  dangerously  ill. 
The  queen  counselled  him  to  seek  out  Chad,  and  confess 
to  him.  Wulfere  took  her  advice,  and  starting  one  morn- 
ing with  his  thanes,  as  if  to  follow  the  chase,  his  attendants 
got  scattered  from  him,  and  he  was  left  alone.  Soon  he 
espied  the  meek  hart  with  the  rope  round  its  neck ;  he 
followed  its  track  gladly,  till  he  came  to  Chad's  cell.  The 
king,  approaching  the  oratory,  espied  the  saint  saying  mass  ; 
he  dared  not  enter  till  he  had  been  shriven.  When  the 
canon  began,  so  great  a  light  shone  through  the  apertures  in 
the  wall,  that  priest  and  sacrifice  were  covered  with  such 
splendour  that  the  king  was  nearly  blinded  by  it,  for  it 
was  brighter  than  that  of  the  natural  sun. 

The  saint  knew  what  the  king  wanted,  so  when  the  office 
was  ended  he  hastily  put  off  his  vestments,  and,  thinking 
to  lay  them  upon  the  appointed  place,  unwittingly  hung 
them  upon  a  sunbeam,  for  the  natural  sun  was  now  stream- 
ing through  the  window.  He  found  the  king  prostrate  before 
the  door ;  raising  him  up  he  heard  the  penitent's  confession, 
and  enjoined  him  as  a  penance,  to  root  out  idolatry,  and  to 
found  monasteries.1  He  then  motioned  to  the  king  that  he 
should  enter  the  oratory  and  pray.  Wulfere,  chancing  to  lift 
up  his  eyes,  with  wonder  saw  the  vestments  hanging  on  the 
sunbeam.  He  rose  from  his  knees,  and,  drawing  near, 
placed  his  own  gloves  and  baldric  upon  the  beam,  but  they 
immediately  fell  to  the  ground.  The  king  understood  by 
this  that  Chad  was  beloved  by  the  Sun  of  Righteousness, 
since  the  natural  sun  paid  him  such  homage. 

1  The  reader  will  here  recall  the  account  of  Lancelot  and  the  Sacrlng  In  the  Tower 
by  Joseph  of  Arimathjea,  in  the  Morte  d'  Arthur. 

*— % 


* * 

38  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 


(a.d.  1 1 27.)  . 

[Hermann  Greven  and  Molanus  in  their  additions  to  Usuardus,  Galesi- 
nius,  Canisius,  Saussaye,  and  the  Belgian  Martyrologies.  Authorities  : — A 
life  by  a  contemporary,  Walter,  archdeacon  of  Therouanne,  another  life  by 
Gualbert  of  Bruges,  written  about  two  years  after  the  death  of  the  count, 
and  another  by  Suger,  abbot  of  S.  Denys,  d.  1151.] 

Charles  the  Good,  Count  of  Flanders,  the  son  of 
S.  Canute,  King  of  Denmark,  and  Adelheid,1  daughter  of 
Robert  the  Frisian,  was  taken  to  Bruges  after  the  martyr- 
dom of  his  father,  (see  Jan.  19th),  and  received  a  careful 
education  from  Robert  II.,  Count  of  Flanders,  his  uncle  on 
his  mother's  side,  who  trained  him  to  be  a  good  knight, 
'  without  fear  and  without  reproach/  and  at  the  same  time 
to  be  a  good  Christian.  Charles  distinguished  himself  by 
his  bravery  in  the  Holy  Land,  and  in  the  war  carried  on  by 
his  uncle  against  the  English,  and  after  the  death  of 
Baldwin  VII.,  who  succeeded  his  father,  Robert  II.,  in 
ii  1 1,  and  died  without  issue,  he  was  declared  his  successor 
by  acclamation  of  the  nobility  and  people,  in  accordance 
with  the  dying  wish  of  his  uncle.  His  elevation  was  not, 
however,  acceptable  to  every  party  in  the  state,  and  his 
government,  which  began  in  the  midst  of  plots,  was  brought 
to  a  close  by  one. 

He  was  married  to  Margaret  de  Clermont,  sister  of  the 
Bishop  of  Tournai,  and  of  the  royal  blood  of  France. 

On  the  sea-banks,  in  the  midst  of  the  sand-hills,  living 
by  piracy,  and  by  fishing,  were  colonies  of  Flemings. 
Fumes  is  the  centre  of  this  district.  It  was  held  by 
Clemence  of  Burgundy,  the  widow  of  Count  Robert  II., 
as  her   dowry.       She   had   married  one  of   her  nieces  to 

1  Aleidis  or  Alice. 

* # 

* * 

March ».]  B.   Charles  tJie  Good.  39 

King  Louis  VI.,  another  to  William  de  Loo,  Viscount  of 
Ypres,  son  of  Philip,  her  brother-in-law.  Consequently 
there  were  several  ambitious  and  powerful  parties  ready  to 
lay  claim  to  the  County  of  Flanders,  and  wrest  it  from  the 
hands  of  Charles. 

The  Flemings  of  the  sea-coast  rose,  at  the  instigation  of 
Cldmence,  and  were  secretly  favoured  by  the  King  of 
France ;  whilst,  at  the  same  time,  William  de  Loo  asserted 
his  claim. 

The  feudal  nobles  desired  to  profit  by  these  circum- 
stances, to  increase  their  own  power.  One  of  them,  God- 
frey of  Louvain,  married  the  dowager  countess,  Clemence. 
The  Counts  of  Hainault,  Boulogne,  S.  Pol,  and  Hesdin, 
took  arms.  Clemence  took  Audenarde,  the  Count  of 
S.  Pol  invaded  West  Flanders,  but  Charles  fell  suddenly 
on  them  with  an  army,  subjugated  De  Loo,  deprived  S.  Pol 
of  his  castle,  and  the  countess  of  her  dowry,  dispersed 
the  armed  men  of  Hainault,  Boulogne,  and  Coucy,  and  as 
Walter  of  The'rouanne  says,  "The  land  held  its  tongue 
before  him."  The  king  of  France  was  the  first  to  strike  an 
alliance  with  him. 

These  successes  excited  the  mistrust  of  the  king  of 
England  and  the  emperor  Henry  V.  The  latter,  under 
pretext  of  a  war  against  the  duke  of  Saxony,  assembled  an 
army  in  August  n  24,  crossed  the  Rhine,  and  marched 
towards  Metz,  threatening  to  destroy  Rheims,  where  pope 
Callixtus  II.  had  lately  excommunicated  him.  In  this 
imminent  peril,  all  the  vassals  of  the  king  rallied  around 
Louis  VI.  "  The  noble  Count  of  Flanders,"  says  the  abbot 
Suger,  "  brought  with  him  ten  thousand  brave  soldiers,  and 
if  there  had  been  time,  he  would  have  brought  thrice  as 
many."  In  face  of  these  preparations  to  resist  his  invasion 
the  emperor  withdrew  to  Utrecht  On  his  death,  all  eyes 
turned  to  Charles,  and  the  imperial  crown  was  offered  him. 

*- * 

* : * 

40  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

He  refused  it,  as  .he  did  also  the  crown  of  Jerusalem, 
offered  him  by  the  Christians  in  the  Holy  Land.  He  now 
devoted  himself  to  the  administration  of  his  country  with 
great  zeal.  He  enacted  wise  laws,  and  laboured  to  make 
justice  prevail  in  all  the  courts  of  judicature.  Nevertheless 
a  vague  uneasiness  prevailed  amongst  his  subjects.  The 
sea  had  overleaped  the  sand-hills,  fires  had  broken  out  and 
consumed  certain  monasteries,  and  an  eclipse  of  the  sun 
gave  prognostication  of  further  evils.  The  winter  of  1125 
was  of  unparalleled  severity ;  ice  and  snow  prevailed  till  the 
rnd  of  March,  and  no  sooner  had  the  fields  and  woods 
begun  to  resume  their  verdant  tints,  than  furious  gales  and 
a  deluge  of  rain  dissipated  the  hopes  of  the  farmers. 
A  dreadful  famine  ensued.  "  Some,"  says  Gualbert,  "  per- 
ished before  they  could  reach  the  towns  and  castles,  where 
food  was  obtainable ;  others  died  in  extending  their  hands 
for  alms.  In  all  our  land  the  natural  colour  of  the  face  had 
become  exchanged  for  the  pallor  of  death.  Despair  was 
general,  for  those  who  were  not  themselves  in  want  sick- 
ened with  grief  at  the  sight  of  such  miseries." 

In  these  calamities  the  Count  of  Flanders  exhibited  more 
greatness  than  if  he  had  reigned  at  Aachen,  or  at  Jerusalem, 
He  exempted  the  farmers  from  their  taxes  and  rents,  and 
required  them  to  house  and  feed  so  many  poor.  At  Ypres 
he  distributed  1800  loaves  in  one  day.  He  forbade  the 
consumption  of  barley  for  the  manufacture  of  beer,  that  it 
might  be  used  for  bread,  and  he  ordered  the  immediate 
sowing  of  such  vegetables  as  are  of  rapid  growth.  The 
ensuing  winter  was  also  severe,  but  with  the  spring  the 
distress  gave  signs  of  alleviation,  for  the  crops  were 
abundant,  and  in  the  autumn  plenty  reigned  once  more. 
During  the  stress  of  famine,  Charles  learnt  that  Lambert, 
brother  of  Bertulf,  dean  of  S.  Donatus,  at  Bruges,  had 
bought  up  all  the  grain  of  the  monasteries  of  S.  Winoc, 

March  2.]  B.  Charles  the  Good.  41 

S.  Bertin,  S.  Peter,  and  S.  Bavo,  together  with  all  the 
foreign  corn  that  had  been  brought  into  the  ports  from  the 
Baltic,  and  was  keeping  it  back  so  as  to  sell  it  at  an  enormous 
profit.  Charles  sent  for  Lambert  and  the  dean,  and  bitterly 
reproached  them.  The  Count  sent  one  of  his  councillors, 
Tankmar  van  Straten,  to  examine  the  granaries  of  these 
two  men,  and  they  were  found  to  be  filled  to  overflowing 
with  stored-up  grain.  Tankmar  offered  a  reasonable  price 
for  the  store,  but  it  was  indignantly  refused  by  the  avaricious 
men.  He,  therefore,  by  the  Count's  orders,  insisted  on 
their  receiving  it,  and  opening  the  granaries,  distributed  the' 
corn  to  the  starving  poor.  This  aroused  the  wrath  of  the 
brothers,  who  had  powerful  friends  among  the  people  of 
Furnes,  and  to  avenge  themselves,  a  project  was  formed  to 
assassinate  the  prince.  One  day,  as  he  was  hearing  mass 
in  a  chapel  of  the  Cathedral  of  S.  Donatus,  at  Bruges, 
one  of  the  conspirators  cut  off  his  arm  with  a  hatchet,  and 
another  clave  his  skull.  His  body  was  buried  in  the 
Church  of  S.  Christopher,  but  was  afterwards  translated  to 
the  Cathedral  of  S.  Donatus,  where  they  remained  till  the 
period  of  the  French  Revolution,  when  the  cathedral  was 
levelled  with  the  ground.  The  relics  of  the  holy  martyr 
were,  however,  preserved  with  respect,  and  on  March  2nd, 
1827,  seven  hundred  years  after  the  death  of  Charles,  were 
solemnly  replaced  above  an  altar  in  the  Church  of  S. 
Sauveur,  now  used  as  the  cathedral.  The  day  of  his  festival 
attracts  a  great  concourse  of  the  faithful;  those  afflicted 
with  fever  especially  come  from  all  quarters  to  cure  them- 
selves by  drinking  out  of  the  skull  of  the  Blessed  Charles 
the  Good. 

* * 



42  Lives  oj  the  Saints.  [March 3. 

March  3. 

SS.  Marinus,  M.,  and  Asterius,  C.  at  Ctzsarea,  circ.  a.d.  260. 

SS.  Felix,  Castus,  Luciolus,  Florian,  Justus,  and  Others,  MM. 

in  Africa. 
SS.  Emetherius  and  Chelidonius,  MM.  at  Calahorra,  in  Spain. 
SS.  Basiliscus,  Eutropius,  and  Cleonicus,  MM.  at  Amasea  and 

Comana,  in  Pontus,  circ.  a.d.  308. 
S.  Camilla,  V.  R.  at  Ecoulives,  near  Auxerre,  a.d.  437. 
S.  N6n,  W.  in  Wales,  the  Mother  of  S.  David,  circ.  A.D.  460. 
S.  Winwaloe,  Ah.  of  Landevenec,  in  Brittany,  6th  cent. 
S.  Titian,  B.  of  Brescia,  circ.  a.d.  526. 
S.  Calupanus,  H.  at  Clermont,  a.d.  576. 
S.  Kunegund,  Emftss.  V.,  Wife  and  Wid.,  at  Bamberg,  circ.  a.d.  1040. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    260.) 

[Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  Bede,  Wandelbert,  and  Roman  Martyrologies. 
Authority : — Eusebius,  Hist.  Eccl.  lib.  vii.  c.  15,  16.J 

|EACE  being  restored  to  the  Church,"  writes 
Eusebius,  "  Marinus  of  Caesarea,  in  Palestine, 
who  was  one  of  the  army,  distinguished  for  his 
military  honours,  and  illustrious  for  his  family 
and  wealth,  was  beheaded  for  his  confession  of  Christ,  on 
the  following  occasion.  There  is  a  certain  honour  among 
the  Romans,  called  the  vine,  which  they  who  obtain  are 
said  to  be  centurions.  A  place  becoming  vacant,  Marinus, 
by  order  of  succession,  was  called  to  be  promoted,  but 
another,  advancing  to  the  tribunal,  objected,  saying  that  he 
was  a  Christian,  and  refused  to  sacrifice  to  the  emperor, 
and  therefore  legally  could  not  share  in  Roman  honours ; 
but  that  the  office  devolved  on  himself,  the  objector,  who 
was  second  on  the  list.  The  judge,  whose  name  was 
Achaeus,  roused  at  this,  began  first  to  question  Marinus  on 
his  opinions ;  and  when  he  saw  that  he  was  constant  in 
affirming  that  he  was  a  Christian,  granted  him  three  hours 



Ifl * 

March  3.]  .SVS*.  Marinus  &  Asterius.  43 

for  reflection.  But  as  soon  as  he  came  out  of  the  judgment 
hall,  Theotecnus,  bishop  of  that  place,  coming  to  him,  took 
him  by  the  hand,  and  drawing  him  to  the  Church,  placed 
him  before  the  altar,  raised  his  cloak  a  little,  and  pointing 
to  the  sword  at  his  side,  at  the  same  time  that  he  presented 
before  him  the  book  of  the  Holy  Gospels,  told  him  to 
choose  which  of  the  two  he  would  retain.  Without  hesi- 
tation, Marinus  extended  his  hand  and  took  the  book. 
'Hold  fast,  then,  hold  fast  to  God,'  said  Theotecnus,  'and 
strengthened  by  him,  may  est  thou  obtain  what  thou 
choosest.  Go  in  peace.'  Immediately  on  his  return  thence, 
a  crier  proclaimed  before  the  prsetorium  that  the  ap- 
pointed time  had  elapsed.  Marinus  then  was  arraigned, 
and  after  exhibiting  a  still  greater  fervour  for  the  faith,  was 
led  away  and  made  perfect  by  martyrdom." 

"  Mention  is  also  made  of  the  confidence  of  Asterius,  a 
man  of  senatorial  rank,  in  great  favour  with  the  emperors, 
and  well  known  for  his  nobility  and  wealth.  As  he  was 
present  at  the  death  of  the  above-mentioned  martyr,  taking 
up  the  corpse,  he  bore  it  on  his  shoulder  in  a  splendid  and 
costly  dress,  and  covering  it  in  a  magnificent  manner,  gave 
it  a  decent  burial." 

Asterius  is  venerated  by  the  Greeks  on  August  7th  as  a 
martyr,  who  suffered  decollation,  and  Marinus  is  not  men- 
tioned by  them.  Eusebius  says  nothing  of  the  martyrdom 
of  Asterius,  as  he  certainly  would  have  done,  had  he  died 
for  Christ,  for  he  says,  "  Many  other  facts  are  stated  of  this 
man  by  his  friends,  who  are  alive  at  present,"  and  then  he 
relates  his  counteracting  by  his  prayers  the  drowning  of 
a  victim  annually  offered  to  the  river  Jordan.  The  Roman 
Martyrology,  however,  accepts  the  Greek  tradition.  "  As- 
terius received  the  honour  he  rendered  to  the  martyr, 
becoming  himself  a  martyr ;"  but  perhaps  the  word  martyr 
is  here  to  be  taken  in  the   sense   frequently  given  to  it 


* * 

44  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  3. 

anciently,  of  a  confessor,  or  witness  to  Christ,  not  neces- 
sarily by  losing  his  life  for  his  testimony,  but  only 
by  imperilling  it. 

(uncertain  date.) 

[Commemorated  in  the  Mozarabic  Missal  and  Breviary ;  the  Evora  and 
Toledo  Breviaries,  and  as  a  double  at  Burgos  and  Leon ;  Martyrology  of  S. 
Jerome,  those  of  Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  and  the  Roman  Martyrology. 
Authority  : — A  hymn  of  Prudentius,  and  Acts  of  no  great  antiquity,  printed 
by  Tamayus  Salazar,  and  an  Elogium  by  Gregory  of  Tours.] 

These  martyrs  were  put  to  death  with  the  sword  at 
Calahorra,  in  Navarre,  on  the  Ebro.  According  to  the 
hymn  of  Prudentius,  and  the  story  of  Gregory  of  Tours,  on 
their  execution,  the  ring  of  one  martryr,  and  the  stole 
(orarium)  of  the  other,  were  caught  up  in  a  cloud,  and 
ascended  into  Heaven.  Probably  this  legend  contains  a 
reminiscence  of  an  incident  such  as  the  wind  wafting  away 
some  of  the  martyrs'  garments  during  the  execution. 

Relics  at  Calahorra. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    308.) 

[By  the  Greeks  on  this  day,  but  S.  Basiliscus  alone  on  May  22nd.  Meno- 
logium  of  the  Emperor  Basil,  Modern  Roman  Martyrology.  Tamayus 
Salazar,  trusting  to  the  forged  Flavius  Dexter,  claims  them  to  be  Spanish 
martyrs.  This  is  a  common  trick  of  some  Spanish  hagiologists,  who  have 
appropriated  all  martyrs  that  are  not,  in  Martyrologies,  given  a  place  of 
martyrdom,  and  the  pseudo-Dexter  simply  mentioned  these  saints  without 
saying  that  they  were  of  Amasea  and  Comana;  therefore  Salazar  audaciously 
says,  "  In  Caspetana  (Sierra  di  Guadalupe)  in  Spain,  SS.  Felix,  Luciolus, 

* * 

March  3.]  6\S.  Basiliscus,  &c.  45 

....  Cleontius,  Eutropius,  Basiliscus,  who,  in  the  persecution  of 
Maximian,  under  Asclepiades,  the  Governor,  endured  torments,  and  the 
cross  itself,  and  as  martyrs  ascended  to  Heaven."  The  forger  of  Flavius 
Dexter  took  the  names  from  the  modern  Roman  Martyrology,  where  the 
name  of  the  place  of  martyrdom  is  not  mentioned,  and  set  them  down  as 
martyrs  in  some  unknown  city  of  Spain  ;  Salazar  improved  on  the  Pseudo- 
Dexter  by  planting  them  in  the  Sierra  di  Guadalupe.  The  life  of  S.  Basi- 
liscus, if  genuine,  is  by  Eusignius,  who  knew  the  martyr,  and  was  himself, 
probably,  a  martyr  in  the  persecution  afterwards,  and  is  commemorated  on 
August  5th.  In  the  life  are  many  passages  which  show  that  Eusignius 
was  well  acquainted  with  the  facts  he  describes,  such  as  "  Christ  accom- 
panied His  martyr,  as  Basiliscus  afterwards  told  me,  Eusignius.''  He  was 
eye-witness  of  the  events  ;  he  says,  "As  we  approached  the  city,  we  heard, 

&c we  tasted  ....  and  when  we  went  in,  we  heard we, 

to  whom  it  was  granted  to  see  this  terrible  mystery  ....  we  asked  the 
speculator,  and  gave  him  thirty  gold  pieces,  and  he  gave  us  the  body,  and 
we  buried  it,  and  we  sowed  vegetables  ....  and  we  went  to  rest."  The 
Acts,  if  they  are  genuine,  and  not  an  impudent  forgery,  have  undergone 
much  interpolation.  Some  of  these  additions  are  apparent  from  a  change 
of  the  "we"  to  "  they  "  in  the  account  of  the  journey  to  Comana.] 

In  the  reign  of  Maximian  and  Maximin,  Agrippa  was 
sent  into  Pontus,  to  be  governor  in  the  room  of  Ascle- 
piades, with  orders  to  constrain  all  Christians  to  sacrifice. 
Basiliscus,  Eutropius,  and  Cleonicus,  three  Christians  of 
Amasea,  were  seized  and  thrown  into  prison.  And  when 
Eutropius  and  Cleonicus  had  suffered,  the  blessed  Basiliscus 
with  many  tears  prayed,  saying,  "O  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
remember  me,  even  unto  the  end,  and  make  my  calling 
manifest  unto  all,  that  I  may  not  be  separated  from  these 
holy  men  who  have  been  taken  with  me,  and  who  have 
suffered  before  me,  and  are  crowned  I"  Then  the  Lord 
appeared  to  him  and  said,  "  I  will  not  forget  thee.  Thy 
name  is  written  with  those  who  have  been  with  thee.  But 
be  not  downcast  because  thou  art  last;  for  thou  shalt 
precede  many.  But  go,  bid  farewell  to  thy  mother  and  thy 
brethren,  and  when  thou  returnest,  thou  shalt  receive  thy 
crown.  Fear  not  the  torments  prepared  for  thee,  for  I 
shall  be  at  thy  side." 

4, ■ * 



46  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  3. 

Then  Basiliscus  asked,  and  prevailed  on,  the  jailor  to  let 
him  go  to  the  village  of  Cumiala,  near  Amasea,  where  his 
mother  lived,  that  he  might  say  farewell  to  her.  Now  it 
fell  out  that  early  in  the  morning  Agrippa  unexpectedly  sent 
for  Basiliscus,  and  when  he  heard  of  the  indulgence  that 
had  been  granted  him — though  soldiers  had  been  sent  as 
guards  with  the  prisoner — he  was  filled  with  rage,  and 
threatened  the  jailor  with  capital  punishment.  Then  he 
called  to  him  a  city  officer  named  Magistrianus,  a  brutal 
fellow,  implacable  in  his  detestation  of  Christianity,  and 
commissioned  him  to  take  a  band  of  soldiers  and  convey 
Basiliscus  to  Comana,  whither  he  himself  was  starting. 
Magistrianus  mounted  his  ass,  and  ambled  to  Cumiala,  and 
surrounded  the  doors  of  the  house,  as  Basiliscus  was  parting 
with  his  mother  and  three  brothers,  before  returning.  Magis- 
trianus ordered  a  pair  of  boots  to  be  put  on  Basiliscus,  with 
the  nails  in  them  protruding,  and  then  bade  him  limp  along 
among  the  guards  back  to  Amasea.  The  nails  made  his 
feet  bleed,  and  as  he  walked  through  the  street  of  Amasea 
a  crowd  gathered,  murmuring  against  the  tyranny  of  the 
governor  and  his  satellites.  Magistrianus,  in  a  rage,  leaped 
off  his  ass,  and  cudgelled  the  mob  with  the  stick  he  had 
used  to  make  the  ass  go,  and  the  soldiers  assisted  him  to 
disperse  the  crowd.  Basiliscus  was  then  led  along  the 
road  to  Comana,  singing,  "  Though  an  host  of  men  be  set 
against  me,  yet  shall  not  my  heart  be  afraid ;  for  thou,  O 
Christ,  art  with  me  !" 

At  mid-day  the  party,  which  consisted  of  fifteen,  came  to 
a  little  village,  and  a  lady's  villa.  The  lady  very  courteously 
invited  the  officer  and  his  men  into  the  house  to  refresh 
themselves,  and  they  tied  Basiliscus  with  his  hands  behind 
his  back  to  a  plane  tree  in  the  court  yard.  A  number 
of  the  villagers  came  up  to  stare  at  the  martyr,  who  stood 
under  the  dry  tree,  suffering  intensely  from  the  heat,  and 



*_ * 

March  3.]  .SVS".  Basiliscus,  &c.  47 

with  blood  dribbling  from  his  wounded  feet,  "whilst 
Magistrianus  and  his  folk  were  feasting  in  Trojana's  house, 
on  all  kinds  of  delicacies,  meats,  and  costly  wines,  served 
up  in  the  cool  summer  dining  hall,"  says  Eusignius,  bitterly. 

But  God  did  not  forget  the  poor  martyr  under  the 
blazing  mid-day  sun,  for  the  plane  tree  put  forth  leaves, 
and  overshadowed  him,  and  a  fountain  bubbled  at  his  feet, 
and  cooled  and  laved  his  festering  wounds. 

On  the  party  reaching  Comana,  Magistrianus  led  Basi- 
liscus  direct  to  the  temple  of  Apollo,  where  was  the 
governor  at  the  moment. 

The  governor  at  once  ordered  him  to  be  brought  in. 
Basiliscus  smilingly  entered.  "  Why  wilt  thou  not  sacrifice, 
fellow  ?"  asked  the  governor.  "  Who  told  thee  that  I  will 
not  sacrifice  ?"  answered  Basiliscus.  "  Ah !  the  gods  be 
praised !  thou  wilt  sacrifice  then." 

"  I  will  offer  to  God  the  sacrifice  of  praise."  "  Offer  to 
whom  you  please,"  said  the  governor,  sharply,  "only 
sacrifice  and  have  done  with  this  folly." 

"  Who  is  that  ?"  asked  Basiliscus,  pointing  to  the  image 
of  Apollo.  "  That  is  the  god  Apollo,"  answered  Agrippa. 
"  The  name  is  appropriate  enough,"  said  Basiliscus,  "  for 
he  brings  to  destruction  all  who  trust  in  him."1  Then  he 
cried  aloud  to  all  in  the  temple,  "  Hearken,  all  men,  to  my 
prayer,  to  the  Lord  of  Heaven  and  earth."  And  he  prayed, 
"  God,  who  art  alone  and  true,  with  thine  only-begotten 
Son,  and  the  Holy  Spirit ;  who  art  invisible,  incomprehen- 
sible, whom  none  can  describe  and  include,  who  art  good 
and  merciful,  and  acceptest  not  the  person  of  man,  who 
createst  the  things  that  are  out  of  that  which  is  not,  and 
enlightenest  us  who  sat  in  darkness,  and  gavest  us  the 
bright  knowledge  of  Thy  deity :  Thou  art  the  helper  of  all 
them  that  trust  in  Thee.     God,  who  art  alone  holy,  and 

1  A  pun  in  the  Greek,  impossible  to  translate. 
* * 

« * 

48  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 3. 

dwellest  in  Thy  saints,  in  me,  thy  humble  servant,  exhibit 
Thy  mercy,  and  confirm  my  prayer,  for  I  pray  to  Thee  of 
Thy  great  goodness,  Thou  who  spreadest  out  the  heavens 
as  a  curtain,  and  by  Thy  command  makest  them  fast,  and 
adornest  them  with  the  bright  shining  stars,  and  with  the 
glory  of  the  sun,  and  the  moon  walking  in  brightness,  and 
givest  us  the  hours  of  day ;  Thou  didst  make  Thy  sun  a 
chamber,  and  gavest  him  everlasting  limits,  and  didst  set 
the  moon  to  rule  the  course  of  time,  and  didst  divide  the 
hours  and  days  and  months ;  Thou  didst  found  the  earth 
by  Thy  command,  that  it  should  be  an  habitation  for  man, 
and  didst  give  to  it  an  everlasting  bound,  and  didst  clothe  it 
with  trees  and  flowers  ;  Thou  didst  lay  the  sea  and  bound 
it  by  Thy  precept,  and  madest  a  way  over  it ;  and  didst 
fashion  man  with  Thine  own  holy  hands  after  Thine  image, 
and  didst  give  him  wisdom  and  reason,  and  didst  breathe 
into  his  face  the  breath  of  life.     Lord,  who  didst  create  the 
whole  world,  who  from  Adam  till  this  present,  and  hereafter 
till  endless  ages,  keepest  those  that  love  Thee,  and  glori- 
fiest  those  that  fear  Thee  !     Lord  Jesus  Christ !    hear  the 
prayer  of  Thy  servant,  and  be  present  with  me  at  this  hour, 
and  destroy  this  deaf,  and  dumb,  and  blind,  and  senseless 
idol ;  break  and  dissolve  this  god  made  with   hands,  and 
shew  to  these  heathen  the  madness  of  their  worship,  and 
Whom  we  worship  and  adore  as  God.    Why  do  the  heathen 
rage,  and  the  people  imagine  a  vain  thing  against   Thy 
saints  ?     Look,  O  Lord,  and  keep  not  still  silence,  for  thus 
behoves  all  honour  and  glory  and  magnificence  to  Thee, 
Father,    Son,    and    Holy    Ghost,    through   ages   of   ages. 

And  when  he  had  said  Amen,  there  was  an  earthquake, 
and  a  thunder  underground,  and  the  temple  shook  to  its 
foundations,  and  the  image  of  Apollo  fell  and  was  broken. 
Then  all  who  were  in  the  temple  fled,  leaving  Basiliscus 




March  3.]  .S".  Winwaloe.  49 

alone  with  the  broken  idol  at  his  feet  And  when  the 
earthquake  was  past,  the  governor  sent,  and  brought 
Basiliscus  forth,  and  his  head  was  struck  off  with  the  sword. 
The  governor  ordered  the  body  to  be  thrown  into  the 
river,  but  Eusignius  bribed  the  soldier  who  was  carrying  it 
away  to  let  him  have  it,  and  he  buried  it  in  a  field,  and 
sowed  herbs  over  it.  S.  Basiliscus  died  on  July  21st.  He 
appeared  in  vision  to  S.  Chrysostom  the  night  before  that 
aged  saint  died;  (see  Jan  27th,  p.  412.) 


(6th  cent.) 

[Anglican  Martyrologies ;  Saussaye,  in  his  Gallican  Martyrology,  the 
Belgian  Martyrologies.  His  translation  from  the  old  wooden  church  at 
Landevenec,  to  a  stone  one,  is  commemorated  on  April  28th,  and  to 
Montreuil-sur-Mer,  on  August  1st.  Authorities  : — Three  Lives  ;  the  first 
by  an  anonymous  writer,  given  by  the  Bollandists,  is  full  of  fable.  A  life 
by  Wrdestin,  9th  cent.,  published  by  De  la  Borderie.  Also  a  life  by  Albert 
le  Grand  is  deserving  of  notice,  but  the  historical  particulars  are  not  accurate. 
There  is  great  difficulty  about  this  saint.  It  is  probable  that  there  were 
two  of  his  name,  and  only  by  this  means  can  the  very  different  accounts  of 
his  life  be  reconciled.  One  Winwaloe  is  a  native  of  Brittany,  and  a  dis- 
ciple of  S.  Corentine,  and  was  translated  to  Montreuil.  Another  Win- 
waloe is  a  native  of  Britain,  a  disciple  of  S.  Sampson,  of  Dol,  and  after- 
wards of  S.  Similian,  abbot  of  Tauriac  ;  and  his  body  lies  at  Ghent.  M. 
Ch.  Barthelemy,  in  his  "  Annales  Hagiologiques  de  la  France,"  5th  cent., 
claims  for  the  first  anonymous  life  to  have  been  written  by  a  disciple  of 
Winwaloe.  But  this  is  more  than  improbable.  It  has  none  of  the  elements 
of  a  contemporary  account.  The  writer  says  that  the  name  of  the  mother 
of  the  saint  was  not  known  ;  and  he  does  not  name  his  master  in  the 
religious  life,  S.  Corentine  or  S.  Budock,  but  calls  him  "  a  holy  man,"  or 
"  that  man  of  God  "  ;  and  the  life,  like  all  late  compilations,  gives  scanty 
details  of  persons  and  places,  but  abounds  in  fables.1] 

Winwaloe  was  born  about  the  year  455  ;  his  father  was 
Fragan,  related  to  Conan  Meriadec.     Fragan  was  governor 

1  The  following  is  a  specimen  of  the  stories  told  by  this  author :     Winwaloe  had 
a  sister  at  home,  who  was  one  day  playing  with  the  geese  belonging  to  her  father, 

VOL    III.  4 

* — * 

* * 

50  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  3. 

of  Leon  (Lyoness)  and  Cornouaille,  under  King  Grallo, 
or  Gradillon.  Fragan  married  a  noble  widow  named 
Gwen,  of  the  Three  Breasts,  and  resided  with  her  at  Les- 
ven,  in  the  parish  of  Plougwen.  By  her  he  had  a  son, 
whom  he  called  Gwenaloe,1  or  "  He  that  is  white,"  on 
account  of  his  beauty.  When  Winwaloe  was  about  fifteen 
years  old  he  was  given  to  a  holy  man,  an  old  hermit,  in 
the  island  of  Lavre,  together  with  his  brothers,  Gwethenoc 
and  Jacut,  and  they  lived  together,  serving  God  in  the 
islet  of  Isle-vert. 

One  day  that  Winwaloe  was  with  his  father,  a  fleet  of 
pirates  appeared  off  the  coast,  and  hovered  about  the  har- 
bour of  Guic  Sezne,  near  Lauvengat.  S.  Winwaloe  is  said  in 
the  popular  tradition  to  have  exclaimed  on  the  occasion,  Me 
a  vel  mil  Guern,  "  I  see  a  thousand  sails ;"  and  a  cross  which 
commemorates  the  spot  is  called  therefrom  to  this  day, 
Croas  al  mil  Guern,  "  the  cross  of  the  thousand  sails."  The 
pirates  landed,  but  Fragan,  having  gathered  his  retainers, 
fell  upon  them  and  utterly  defeated  them.  Many  were  cut 
to  pieces,  and  a  few  escaped  in  their  vessels.  During  the 
combat,  Winwaloe,  like  a  second  Moses,  prayed  with 
fervour;  and  after  the  victory  he  exhorted  his  father  to 
employ  the  spoil  they  had  taken  in  building  a  monastery 
on  the  spot  where  the  battle  took  place,  in  Isel-Vez,  in  the 
parish  of  Plou-Nevez.  He  did  so,  and  the  monastery  was 
called  Loc-Christ. 

After  some  years,  Winwaloe  left  his  master,  and  settled 

when  one  of  them  flew  at  her,  pecked  out,  and  swallowed  her  eye.  The  parents 
were  in  despair.  Then  an  angel  appeared  to  the  holy  boy,  Winwaloe,  and  told 
him  of  the  trouble.  Winwaloe  at  once  hastened  home,  singled  out  the  guilty  goose, 
sliced  open  its  belly,  removed  the  eye  of  his  sister  from  its  crop,  and  replaced  it  in 
his  sister's  head,  and  she  saw  as  well  as  before.  The  boy  then  miraculously  healed 
the  goose,  and  dismissed  it  to  rejoin  the  flock.  After  this  he  returned  to  his  master 
and  studies. 

*  He  is  called  Guennole,  or  Vignevale,  in  French.  At  Montreuil-sur-Mer,  of 
which  place  he  is  patron,  he  is  called  S.  Valois.  His  name  has  also  been  cor- 
rupted into  Valvais  and  Vennole. 

* * 

* * 

March  3.]  6".    Winwaloe.  51 

in  the  island  of  Sein,  off  the  Point  du  Raz ;  but,  finding  it 
exposed  to  the  full  swell  of  the  Atlantic,  and  to  every  gale, 
he  was  obliged  to  desert  it,  and  found  a  more  suitable  place 
of  settlement  at  Llandevenec,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
harbour  of  Brest,  where  he  established  a  monastery,  into 
which  he  gathered  many  disciples,  and  there,  after  many 
years,  he  died,  standing  at  the  altar,  after  having  bestowed 
the  kiss  of  peace  on  the  brethren,  on  Saturday,  the  3rd  of 
March,  in  the  first  week  in  Lent ;  a  date  which  may  be 
either  507,  518,  or  529. 

Another  version  of  the  history  of  S.  Winwaloe  makes 
him  to  have  been  born  in  Wales,  but  this  is  untenable. 
Fragan  and  Gwen  were  from  Wales. 

The  body  of  S.  Winwaloe  is  preserved  at  Montreuil-sur- 
Mer,  whither  it  was  translated  through  fear  of  the  invasion 
of  the  Normans,  after  having  first  just  found  shelter  at 
Ghent.  The  chasuble,  alb  and  bell  of  S.  Winwaloe,  are  pre- 
served in  the  Jesuit  Church  of  S.  Charles,  at  Antwerp. 

At  the  same  time,  the  body  of  a  S.  Winwaloe  is  also  at 
Blandinberg,  near  Ghent ;  and  the  story  told  of  this  saint  is 
in  many  particulars  like  that  of  the  S.  Winwaloe  at  Mon- 
treuil,  but  it  differs  in  others. 

S.  Winwaloe  is  represented  in  art  vested  as  an  abbot,  with 
staff  in  one  hand  and  bell  in  the  other,  standing  by  the  sea, 
with  the  fish  rising  out  of  the  water  as  if  obeying  the  sum- 
mons of  his  bell. 



C2  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March $. 


(ABOUT    A.D.    IO40.) 

[German,  Cologne,  Basle,  and  Roman  Martyrologies  ;  also  in  the  Bene- 
dictine Martyrology  of  Wyon.  Proper  offices  in  the  Brussels,  Passau 
Ratisbon,  Salzburg,  Frisingen,  Bamberg,  Eichstadt,  Vienna,  and  other 
Breviaries.  Her  translation  is  celebrated  on  September  9th  ;  and  her 
canonization  on  March  29th.  At  Bamberg  she  is  again  commemorated  on 
August  1st.  Her  life  was  written  after  1190.  This  life  forms  the  Breviary 
lessons  at  Bamberg  on  March  3rd  and  August  1st.  Other  authorities  are 
the  historians  of  the  time.] 

S.  Kunegund,  or  Cunegundes,  was  the  daughter  of  Sig- 
fried,  count  of  Luxemburg,  and  Hedewig,  his  pious  wife. 
She  was  married  to  S.  Henry,  duke  of  Bavaria.  Her  sister 
was  married  to  Gerard,  Count  of  Alsace.  Her  brothers 
were  Henry,  created,  in  103,  duke  of  Bavaria,  when  S. 
Henry  was  emperor ;  Frederick,  count  of  Luxemburg  on 
the  death  of  his  father;  Dietrich,  bishop  of  Metz ;  and 

On  the  death  of  the  emperor  Otho  III.,  S.  Henry  was 
elected  king  of  the  Romans,  and  was  crowned  at  Mentz 
on  June  6th,  1002.  Kunegund  was  crowned  empress  at 
Paderborn,  on  August  10th,  in  the  same  year.  Immedi- 
ately on  his  coronation  his  cousin,  the  Margrave,  Henry  of 
Schwein-furt,  demanded  the  dukedom  of  Bavaria,  and  his 
own  brother,  Bruno,  made  a  similar  claim.  But  the  emperor 
refused  to  give  it  to  either,  and  bestowed  it  on  Henry,  Count 
of  Luxemburg,  his  wife's  brother.  The  two  disappointed 
competitors  then  conspired  against  him  with  Boleslas  II.,  of 
Bohemia,  but  they  were  defeated  by  the  emperor  near 
Creusen,  in  1003,  and  were  pardoned.  Adalbert,  another 
brother  of  Kunegund,  then  expelled  Megingod,  archbishop 
of  Treves,  and  seized  on  the  diocese  for  himself,  but  the 
emperor  deposed  him,  and  restored  the  rightful  archbishop. 

In  1013,   Henry  and   Kunegund  received  the   imperial 


I\    f  /  ' 


Empress  of  Germany. 

March,  p.  52.] 

[March  3. 

If, — >$t 

March  3.]  S.  Kunegund.  53 

crown  at  Rome,  from  the  pope.  It  was  on  this  occasion 
that  the  pope  bestowed  on  the  emperor  the  golden  ball,  the 
emblem  of  the  globe  over  which  he  was  destined  to  rule. 
The  imperial  pair,  it  is  said,  had  taken  the  vow  of  chastity, 
but  of  this  there  is  no  evidence.  Kunegund's  virtue,  how- 
ever, did  not  escape  slander,  and  she  voluntarily  underwent 
the  ordeal  by  fire,  and  walked  unharmed  over  glowing 
ploughshares  to  testify  her  innocence. 

S.  Henry  founded  the  bishopric  of  Bamberg,  partly  at 
the  instigation  of  S.  Kunegund,  who  obtained  for  the  city 
such  privileges,  that  it  became  a  popular  saying  there,  that 
Kunegund's  silk  threads  defended  Bamberg  better  than 
walls  and  towers.  Pope  Benedict  VIII.  visited  Bamberg 
in  1020,  for  the  purpose  of  consecrating  the  new  establish- 
ment. Kunegund  also  built  and  endowed  a  Benedictine 
abbey  for  nuns,  at  Kaufungen,  near  Cassel.  Before  it  was 
finished,  in  1024,  S.  Henry  died.  On  the  anniversary  of 
his  death,  in  1025.  she  assembled  a  great  number  of  pre- 
lates to  the  dedication  of  her  church  at  Kaufungen  ;  and 
after  the  singing  of  the  gospel,  she  offered  on  the  altar  a 
piece  of  the  true  cross,  and  then  put  off  her  imperial  robes, 
and  clothed  herself  with  a  poor  habit ;  her  hair  was  cut  off, 
and  the  bishop  put  on  her  a  veil,  and  a  ring  as  a  pledge  of 
her  fidelity  to  her  heavenly  Spouse.  After  she  was  conse- 
crated to  God  in  religion,  she  seemed  entirely  to  forget  that 
she  had  been  empress,  and  behaved  as  the  last  in  the  house, 
being  persuaded  that  she  was  so  before  God.  She  feared 
nothing  more  than  whatever  could  bring  to  her  mind  the 
remembrance  of  her  former  dignity.  She  prayed  and  read 
much,  worked  with  her  hands,  and  took  a  singular  pleasure 
in  visiting  and  comforting  the  sick.  Thus  she  passed  the 
fifteen  last  years  of  her  life,  never  suffering  the  least  prefer- 
ence to  be  given  her  above  any  one  in  the  community. 
Her  mortifications  at  length  reduced  her  to  a  very  weak 

* * 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  3. 

condition,  and  brought  on  her  last  sickness.  Her  monas- 
tery and  the  whole  city  of  Cassel  were  grievously  afflicted 
at  the  thought  of  their  approaching  loss  ;  she  alone  appeared 
without  concern,  lying  on  a  coarse  hair-cloth,  ready  to  give 
up  the  ghost,  whilst  the  prayers  of  the  dying  were  read  by 
her  side.  Perceiving  they  were  preparing  a  cloth  fringed 
with  gold  to  cover  her  corpse  after  her  death,  she  ordered 
it  to  be  taken  away ;  nor  could  she  be  at  rest  till  it  was 
promised  that  she  should  be  buried  as  a  religious  in  her 
habit.  She  died  on  the  3rd  of  March,  1040.  Her  body 
was  carried  to  Bamberg,  and  buried  near  that  of  her  hus- 
band. The  greatest  part  of  her  relics  still  remains  in  the 
same  church.  She  was  solemnly  canonized  by  Innocent 
III.  in  1200. 

She  is  represented  in  art  with  the  ploughshares  at  her 

Forms  of  Mitre 



* * 

March  4.]  S.     LUCIUS.  55 

March   4. 

S.  Lucius,  Pofic,  M.  at  Rome,  a.d.  253. 

SS.  Nine  Hundred  Martyrs  on  the  Appian  Way,  at  Rome,  circ. 

a.d.  260. 
S.  Caius  the  Palatine,  and  xxvii.  Companions,  MM.  at  Rome. 
S.  Owen,  Mk.  at  Lastiugham,  end  of  7th  cent. 
S.  Basinus,  B.  of  Treves,  circ.  a.d.  672. 
SS.  Adrian,  B.  of  S.  Andrews,  and  Comp.,  MM.  in  the  Isle  of 

May,  circ.  a.d.  870. 
S.  CASIMIR,  Prince  of  Poland,  A.D.  1484. 

(a.d.    253.) 

[Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  Wandelbert,  and  Roman  Martyrologies.  Au- 
thorities : — Eusebius,  the  letters  of  S.  Cyprian,  Anastasius  Bibliothecarius, 
and  a  Life  by  Guaiserius,  a  monk,  (nth  cent.)] 

[AINT  LUCIUS  was  a  Roman  by  birth,  and  one 
of  the  clergy  of  that  church  under  SS.  Fabian 
and  Cornelius.  This  latter  having  been  crowned 
with  martyrdom,  in  252,  S.  Lucius  succeeded 
him  in  the  pontificate.  The  emperor  Gallus  having  re- 
newed the  persecution  of  his  predecessor  Decius,  at  least  in 
Rome,  this  holy  pope  was  no  sooner  placed  in  the  chair  of 
S.  Peter,  than  he  was  banished,  though  to  what  place  is  un- 
certain. "Thus,"  says  S.  Dionysius  of  Alexandria,  "did 
Gallus  deprive  himself  of  the  succour  of  heaven,  by  expel- 
ling those  who  every  day  prayed  to  God  for  his  peace  and 
prosperity."  S.  Cyprian  wrote  to  S.  Lucius  to  congratulate 
him  both  on  his  promotion,  and  on  having  had  grace  to 
suffer  banishment  for  Christ.  Our  saint  had  been  but  a 
short  time  in  exile  when  he  was  recalled,  to  the  great  joy 
of  his  people,  who  went  out  of  Rome  in  crowds  to  meet 
him.     S.  Cyprian  wrote  to  him  a  second  letter  of  congratu- 

* * 

* — — ■■ ■ * 

56  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  4. 

lation  on  this  occasion.  He  says,  "  He  had  not  lost  the 
dignity  of  martyrdom  because  he  had  the  will,  as  the  three 
children  in  the  furnace,  though  preserved  by  God  from  death ; 
this  glory  added  a  new  dignity  to  his  priesthood ;  so  that  he, 
a  bishop,  assisted  at  God's  altar,  who  could  exhort  his  flock 
to  martyrdom  by  his  own  example  as  well  as  by  his  words. 
By  giving  such  graces  to  his  pastors,  God  showed  where  his 
true  Church  was :  for  he  denied  the  like  glory  of  suffering 
to  the  Novatian  heretics.  The  enemy  of  Christ  only  attacks 
the  soldiers  of  Christ :  heretics  he  knows  to  be  already  his 
own,  and  passes  them  by.  We  supplicate  God  the  Father  and 
His  Son,  our  Lord,  giving  thanks  and  praying  together,  that 
He  who  perfects  all  may  bring  you  to  the  glorious  crown  of 
your  confession,  who,  perhaps,  has  only  recalled  you  that 
your  glory  might  not  be  hidden  ;  for  the  victim  who  owes 
his  brethren  an  example  of  virtue  and  faith,  ought  to  be 
sacrificed  before  their  eyes." 

Eusebius  says  that  Lucius  did  not  occupy  the  pontifical 
throne  for  above  eight  months.  He  seems  to  have  died  on 
March  4th,  under  Gallus,  but  how  we  know  not.  His  body 
was  found  in  the  Catacombs,  and  was  laid  in  the  church  of 
S.  Cecilia  at  Rome,  where  it  is  now  exposed  to  the  venera- 
tion of  the  faithful.  Considerable  portions  of  the  body  of 
S.  Lucius,  M.,  are  preserved  at  Bologna,  and  a  head,  pur- 
porting to  be  that  of  S.  Lucius,  was  anciently  one  of  the 
great  relics  of  Roeskilde  Cathedral.  But  these  must  be  the 
remains  of  other  saints  of  the  same  name,  and  it  was  an 
error  of  the  clergy  of  Bologna  and  of  Roeskilde  to  assert  that 
these  relics  belonged  to  the  martyred  pope.  That  such  a  mis- 
take may  easily  have  been  made  is  seen  from  the  fact  that  two 
martyrs  of  the  name  of  Lucius  are  commemorated  on  this 
day,  the  second  being  a  companion  of  Caius  the  Palatine ; 
and  six  in  January,  and  as  many  in  February,  not  to  men- 
tion those  in  the  other  months.     In  the  Schleswig  Breviary, 

* * 

x — * 

March  4.]  ,£      Oweft.  57 

published  in  15 12,  the  feast  of  S.  Lucius,  Pope,  M.,  was 
observed  on  account  of  the  presence  of  the  head  of  a  S. 
Lucius,  M.,  at  Roeskilde,  with  nine  lessons  at  matins,  of 
which  the  six  first  were  taken  from  the  account  of  the  Life 
and  Translation  of  S.  Lucius  the  pope,  made  by  pope 
Paschal  in  812. 

(date  uncertain.) 

[Bede,  Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  Roman  Martyrology.  The  names  o< 
the  companions  of  S.  Caius  vary  in  the  Martyrologies.] 

S.  Caius,  and  twenty-seven  fellow  soldiers,  suffered  for 
the  faith  at  Rome.  Caius  was  an  officer  of  the  palace,  but 
under  what  emperor  is  not  known.  He  was  drowned  in 
the  sea. 

S.  OWEN,  MK. 

(END   OF    7TH    CENT.) 

[Anglican  and  Benedictine  Martyrologies.  Authority  : — Bede,  Hist. 
Eccl.,  lib.  iv.  c.  3.] 

The  venerable  Bede  says,  "  Owen  was  a  monk  of  great 
merit,  having  forsaken  the  world  with  the  pure  intention  of 
obtaining  the  heavenly  reward  ;  worthy  in  all  respects  to 
have  the  secrets  of  our  Lord  revealed  to  him,  and  worthy 
to  have  credit  given  by  his  hearers  to  what  he  said ;  for  he 
came  with  Queen  Etheldreda  from  the  province  of  the  East 
Angles,  and  was  her  prime  minister,  and  governor  of  her 
household.  As  the  fervour  of  his  faith  increased,  resolving 
to  renounce  the  world,  he  did  not  go  about  it  slothfully,  but 
quitting  all  he  had,  clad  in  a  plain  garment,  and  carrying  an 
axe  and   hatchet  in  his  hand,   came  to  the  monastery  of 

* * 

58  Lives  of  the  Saints  [March  4. 

S.  Chad,  at  Lastingham  :  denoting  that  he  did  not  go  to  the 
monastery  to  live  idly,  as  some  do,  but  to  labour,  and  this 
he  confirmed  by  his  practice ;  for  as  he  was  less  capable  of 
meditating  on  the  Holy  Scriptures,  he  the  more  earnestly 
applied  himself  to  the  labour  of  his  hands.  In  short,  he 
was  received  by  the  bishop  into  the  house  aforesaid,  and 
there  entertained  with  the  brethren,  and  whilst  they  were 
engaged  within  in  reading,  he  was  without  doing  such  things 
as  were  necessary. 

"  One  day,  when  he  was  thus  employed  abroad,  and  his 
companions  were  gone  to  the  church,  the  bishop  was  alone, 
reading  or  praying  in  the  oratory  of  that  place,  when,  on  a 
sudden,  as  he  afterwards  said,  he  heard  voices  singing  most 
sweetly,  and  rejoicing,  and  appearing  to  descend  from 
heaven.  And  this  sound  seemed  to  come  from  the  south- 
east, and  it  afterwards  drew  nigh  him  to  the  oratory,  where 
the  bishop  then  was,  and  entering  therein,  filled  the  same 
and  all  around.  He  listened  attentively  to  what  he  heard, 
and  after  about  half  an  hour  noticed  the  same  strain  of  joy 
ascend  from  the  roof  of  the  oratory,  and  return  to  heaven 
the  same  way  it  came,  with  inexpressible  sweetness.  When 
he  had  stood  some  time  wondering,  the  bishop  opened  the 
window  of  the  oratory,  and,  making  a  noise  with  his  hand, 
ordered  him  to  come  in  to  him. 

"  Then  the  holy  Chad  told  him  that  the  day  of  his  death 
was  at  hand,  and  that  the  angelic  spirits  had  told  him  that 
in  seven  days  they  would  return  and  take  him  with  them. 
And  so  it  was  :  seven  days  after,  S.  Chad  entered  into  his 
rest."  Nothing  more  is  known  of  Owen.  A  stone  cross 
put  up  by  Owen  remains  at  Ely,  and  is  preserved  in  that 

* * 

March  4.]  SS.  Basinus  &  Adrian.  59 

(about  ad.  672.) 

[Treves  and  Cologne  Martyrologies  ;  Molanus  and  Greven.  Authority : 
— His  Life  by  Nizo,  Abbot  of  Metloch  (Mediolanum)  on  the  Saar,  nth 
cent.,  which  is  very  untrustworthy.] 

Basinus,  of  the  illustrious  family  of  the  Dukes  of  Aus- 
trasia,  was  received  as  monk  into  the  monastery  of  S. 
Maximin,  at  Treves.  He  was  afterwards  made  abbot,  and 
later,  when  S.  Numerian,  bishop  of  Treves,  was  dead,  he 
was  constrained  to  assume  the  mitre  in  his  room.  He  held 
the  see  in  the  reign  of  Childebert  II.,  king  of  Austrasia. 
He  was  a  friend  of  S.  Willibrord.  After  his  death,  his 
body  was  laid  in  the  basilica  of  S.  Maximin,  under  the  high 
altar.  It  was  taken  up  in  162 1,  and  placed  in  a  more 
conspicuous  position. 

He  was  succeeded  by  his  nephew,  S.  Lutwin. 

S.  ADRIAN,  M.  B.  OF  S.  ANDREWS. 

(ABOUT   A.D.    870.) 
[Aberdeen  Breviary.     Authority : — The  Lections  from  the  same.] 

S.  Adrian,  bishop  of  S.  Andrews,  in  Scotland,  was  a 
native  of  Pannonia.  He  laboured  to  spread  the  faith 
among  the  Picts,  together  with  his  companions,  Clodian, 
Caius,  Monan,  and  Stobrand.  As  they  were  in  the  island 
of  May,  the  Danish  pirates  landed  in  it,  and  put  Adrian 
and  Clodian  to  death.  No  reliance  can  be  placed  on  the 
legend  in  the  Breviary. 

* * 

$ * 

60  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  4. 

(a.d.  1484.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.    Authorities  : — Zacharias   Ferrier,    Papal  legate 
in  Poland,  A.d.  1525.] 

S.  Casimir  was  the  second  son  of  Casimir  III.,  king  of 
Poland,  and  of  Elizabeth  of  Austria,  daughter  to  the 
emperor  Albert  II.,  a  most  virtuous  woman,  who  died  in 
1505.  He  was  born  in  1458,  on  the  5th  of  October. 
From  his  childhood  he  was  remarkably  pious  and  devout. 
His  preceptor  was  John  Dugloss,  called  Longinus,  canon  of 
Cracow,  a  man  of  extraordinary  learning  and  piety,  who 
constantly  refused  all  bishoprics,  and  other  dignities  of  the 
Church  and  state  which  were  pressed  upon  him.  Vladislas, 
the  eldest  son,  was  elected  king  of  Bohemia  in  147 1,  and 
became  king  of  Hungary  in  1490.  Casimir  was  the  second 
son ;  John  Albert,  the  third  son,  succeeded  his  father  in 
the  kingdom  of  Poland  in  1492  ;  and  Alexander,  the  fourth 
son,  was  called  to  the  same  in  1501.  Casimir  and  the 
other  princes  were  warmly  attached  to  the  holy  man  who 
was  their  preceptor ;  but  Casimir  profited  most  by  his  pious 
maxims  and  example.  He  consecrated  the  flower  of  his 
age  to  the  exercises  of  devotion  and  penance ;  his  clothes 
were  plain,  and  under  them  he  wore  a  hair  shirt.  He  often 
slept  upon  the  ground,  and  spent  a  considerable  part  of  the 
night  in  prayer  and  meditation,  chiefly  on  the  passion  of 
our  Saviour.  He  was  wont  at  times  to  go  out  in  the  night 
to  pray  before  the  church-doors,  and  in  the  morning  waited 
before  them  till  they  were  opened  for  matins.  He  was 
especially  devout  to  the  passion  of  our  blessed  Saviour,  the 
very  thought  of  which  excited  him  to  tears.  He  was  no 
less  piously  affected  towards  the  Sacrifice  of  the  altar,  at 

$ * 

S.  CASIMIR,   PRINCE   OF    POLAND.     After  Cahier. 
March,  p.  60.]  [March  4. 

* — — * 

March  4.]  S.  Casimir.  61 

which  he  always  assisted  with  such  reverence  and  attention 
that  he  seemed  in  raptures.  And  as  a  mark  of  his  singular 
devotion  to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  he  composed,  or,  at  least, 
frequently  recited,  the  long  hymn  that  bears  his  name,  a 
copy  of  which  was,  by  his  desire,  buried  with  him.  His 
love  for  Jesus  Christ  showed  itself  in  his  regard  for  the 
poor,  who  are  His  members,  to  whose  relief  he  applied 
whatever  he  had,  and  employed  his  credit  with  his  father, 
and  his  brother,  Vladislas,  king  of  Bohemia,  to  procure 
them  succour. 

The  nobles  of  Hungary,  dissatisfied  with  Matthias  Cor- 
vinus,  their  king,  son  of  the  great  Huniades,  begged  the 
king  of  Poland  to  allow  them  to  place  his  son  Casimir  on 
the  throne.  The  saint,  then  not  quite  fifteen  years  of  age, 
was  very  unwilling  to  consent ;  but  in  compliance  with  his 
father's  will,  he  went  at  the  head  of  an  army  of  twenty 
thousand  men  to  the  frontiers  in  147 1.  There  hearing 
that  Matthias  had  formed  an  army  of  sixteen  thousand  men 
to  oppose  him,  and  that  pope  Sixtus  IV.  had  sent  an  em- 
bassy to  divert  his  father  from  the  expedition,  and  finding 
that  his  soldiers  were  deserting  him  in  great  numbers,  he 
joyfully  returned.  However,  his  conduct  gave  such  offence 
to  his  father,  whose  ambition  had  been  roused,  that  he  was 
forbidden  by  him  to  enter  Cracow,  and  ordered  to  take  up 
his  residence  in  the  castle  of  Dobzki.  After  this,  nothing 
would  again  induce  him  to  resume  the  attempt,  though 
again  pressed  by  the  Hungarians,  and  urged  by  his  father. 
As  the  old  Russian  churches  were  falling  out  of  repair, 
Casimir,  with  more  zeal  than  discretion,  persuaded  his 
father  to  pass  an  edict  forbidding  the  restoration  and  recon- 
struction of  churches  which  did  not  belong  to  the  Latin 

Falling  into  a  decline,  the  physicians  recommended  that 
he  should  relax  his  rigid  chastity,  but  the  young  prince  in- 





Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  4. 

dignantly  refused  to  defile  his  virgin  body  on  the  chance  of 
thus  prolonging  his  life  a  few  months ;  and  he  died  at  the 
age  of  twenty-three,  on  March  4th,  1484,  and  was  buried 
at  Wilna,  where  his  body  is  still  preserved. 



(J, — >£ 

March  5.]  S.  Gerasimus.  63 

March  5. 

S.  Theophilus,  B.  ofCasarea,  in  Palestine,  circ.  a.d.  200. 

S.  Adrian,  M.  at  Ccesarea,  in  Palestine,  a.d.  308  (see  S.  Eubulus, 

March  jth). 
S.  Phocas,  M.  at  Antioch,  in  Syria,  circ.  A.D.  320. 
S.  Gerasimus,  Ab.  in  Palestine,  a.d.  475. 
S.  Kieran  OR  Piran,  of  Saigir,  B.  o/Ossory,  circ.  a.d.  55a. 
S.  Virgilius,  Abp.  of  Aries,  qth  cent. 
S   Drausinus,  B.  o/Soissons,  after  a.d.  675. 
S.  Peter  de  Castelnau,  Mk.  M.  at  S.  Gilles,  in  the  Narbonnaise, 

a.d.  1209. 
S.  John-Joseph  of  the  Cross,  C.  at  Naples,  a.d.  1734. 

S.  PHOCAS,  M. 

(ABOUT   A.D.    320.) 

[All  the   Latin    Martyrologies,    from  the  mention  in  which  all  that  is 
known  of  him  is  derived.] 

j]T  ANTIOCH,  after  many  sufferings  endured  for 
the  name  of  Christ,  Phocas  triumphed  over  the 
Old  Serpent,  a  victory  which  is  testified,  to 
this  day,  by  a  miracle.  For  whoever  is  bitten 
by  a  serpent,  having  touched,  full  of  faith,  the  door  of  the 
basilica  of  the  martyr,  is  immediately  cured,  the  poison  at 
once  losing  its  power  •"  so  says  the  Roman  Martyrology. 

(a.d.  47S-) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  By  the  Greeks  on  March  4th  and  20th.  Au- 
thorities : — Mention  in  the  lives  of  S.  Buthymius  and  S.  Quiriacus,  by  Cyril 
the  Monk,  fl.  548.] 

S.  Gerasimus  embraced  the  monastic  life  in  Lycia;  he 
afterwards  passed  into  Palestine,  at  a  time  when  Eutychian- 

64  L  ives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

ism  prevailed,  and  he  had  the  misfortune  to  embrace  the 
errors  of  that  heresy ;  but  S.  Euthymius  (Jan.  20th)  visited 
him,  and  restored  him  to  the  unity  of  the  faith.  He 
expiated  his  error  by  the  most  rigorous  fasting.  He  be- 
came very  intimate  with  S.  Euthymius,  S.  John  the  Silen- 
tiary,  S.  Sabas,  and  S.  Theoctistus. 

A  great  number  of  disciples  placed  themselves  under  his 
conduct,  and  he  built  a  laura  near  Jordan,  consisting  of 
seventy  cells,  amidst  which  was  a  monastery  for  the  lodging 
of  those  who  were  to  live  in  community,  and  disciplined 
those  who  afterwards  occupied  the  hermitages  of  the  laura. 
The  anchorites  assembled  in  the  church  on  the  Sabbath 
and  the  Sunday  to  participate  in  the  sacred  mysteries,  and 
on  these  two  days  they  ate  common  food  that  had  been 
cooked,  and  drank  a  little  wine  j  on  other  days  they  ate 
only  bread  and  dates,  and  drank  water.  Fires  were  never 
lighted  in  the  cells,  and  the  hermits  slept  on  rush  mats. 

S.  Gerasimus  carried  his  abstinence  further  than  his 
brethren.  Throughout  Lent  he  took  no  other  nourishment 
than  the  Divine  Eucharist. 

One  day  as  the  old  abbot  was  walking  on  the  banks  of  the 
Jordan,  he  saw  a  lion  limping,  and  roaring  with  pain.  The 
lion,  instead  of  attempting  to  escape,  held  up  its  paw, 
which  was  much  swollen,  and  Gerasimus  taking  it  on  his 
lap,  examined  it,  and  saw  that  a  sharp  splinter  had  entered 
the  flesh.  He  withdrew  the  piece  of  reed,  and  bathed  the 
paw.  The  lion  afterwards  gratefully  followed  him  to  his 
cell,  and  never  after  left  him,  but  was  fed  by  the  abbot. 
There  was  an  ass  belonging  to  the  monastery  which  brought 
water  from  the  Jordan,  for  the  necessities  of  the  brethren  ; 
and  Gerasimus  sent  the  ass  out  to  pasture  under  the 
guardianship  of  the  lion.  One  day  the  lion  had  gone  away 
from  his  charge,  and  an  Arabian  camel  driver  passing  by, 
stole  the  ass.     In  the  evening  the  lion  returned  depressed 



March  5. j  6".   Gerasimus.  65 

in  spirits  to  the  monastery,  without  the  ass.  Gerasimus 
naturally  concluded  that  the  lion  had  eaten  the  animal,  and 
he  cried  out,  "  Sirrah,  where  is  the  ass  ?"  The  lion  stood 
still,  and  looked  back  over  his  shoulder.  "  You  have  eaten 
him  !"  said  the  abbot ;  "  Let  us  praise  God.  Well,  what 
the  ass  did,  you  shall  do  now."  And  thenceforth  the  lion 
carried  the  water  for  the  brethren. 

Now  one  day  a  certain  soldier  came  to  the  monastery, 
and  seeing  the  lion  toiling  under  the  water  bottles,  he  pitied 
the  lordly  beast,  and  gave  some  money  to  the  abbot  to  buy 
an  ass  on  the  next  opportunity,  and  release  the  lion  from  its 
office  of  water-carrier.  Some  days  after  this,  as  the  lion  was 
near  Jordan,  there  came  by  the  driver  who  had  stolen  the 
ass,  with  three  camels,  and  the  stolen  beast  itself.  The  lion 
set  up  its  mane  and  roared,  and  made  towards  the  man, 
whereupon  the  driver  took  to  his  heels.  Then  the  lion 
caught  the  end  of  the  ass's  halter,  and  drew  it  along  with 
the  camels  to  the  door  of  the  monastery.  And  thus  the 
abbot  learned  that  he  was  wrong  in  accusing  his  dumb 
friend  of  having  devoured  his  charge. 

For  five  years  the  lion  was  the  constant  companion  of 
the  old  abbot,  going  in  and  out  among  the  monks ;  and  at 
the  expiration  of  that  time  Gerasimus  died.  Now  the  lion 
was  out  when  he  departed  to  his  rest ;  but  when  the  lion 
returned  home,  he  went  about  searching  for  the  old  man. 
Then  the  abbot  Sabbatius,  a  disciple  of  the  dead  saint, 
seeing  the  uneasiness  of  the  lion,  said  to  him  "  Jordan,  (for 
by  that  name  the  lion  was  called),  our  old  friend  has  gone 
away  and  left  us  orphans,  and  has  migrated  to  the  Lord ; 
but  here  is  food,  take  and  eat"  But  the  lion  would  not. 
and  paced  to  and  fro  seeking  the  dead  man,  and  every  now 
and  then  throwing  up  his  head,  and  roaring.  Then 
Sabbatius  and  some  of  the  other  brethren  came  and  rubbed 
his  neck,  and  said,  "  The  old  man  is  departed  to  the  Lord, 

VOL.    III.  5 


* * 

66  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March $. 

and  has  left  us."  But  this  did  not  appease  the  lion ;  and 
the  more  they  caressed  him,  and  spake  to  him,  the  more 
agitated  he  became,  and  the  louder  he  roared,  "showing  with 
mouth  and  eyes  how  great  was  his  distress,  because  he  saw 
not  the  old  man." 

Then  the  abbot  Sabbatius  said  to  him,  "  Come  along 
with  me,  as  you  will  not  believe  me,  and  I  will  show  you 
where  our  old  friend  is  laid."  And  he  led  the  lion  to  the 
place  where  Gerasimus  was  buried ;  and  the  abbot  Sabba- 
tius, standing  at  the  tomb,  said,  "  See  here  is  where  he  is 
buried."  And  then  he  knelt  and  wept  upon  the  grave.  So 
when  the  lion  saw  this,  he  went,  and  stretched  himself  on 
the  grave,  with  his  head  on  the  sand,  and  moaned,  and 
remained  there,  and  would  not  leave  the  place,  but  was 
found  there  dead,  a  few  days  after. 

It  is  almost  needless  to  say  that  this  beautiful  incident 
has  given  to  the  abbot  Gerasimus  his  symbol  of  a  lion,  in 


(ABOUT  A.D.    552.) 

[Irish  Hagiologies,  and  an  addition  of  Usuardus  published  in  1490.  A 
saint  of  this  name  was  venerated  on  this  day  in  the  Dumblane  Breviary,  but 
it  is  uncertain  if  it  was  the  same.  The  Life  of  S.  Kieran,  published  by 
Colgan,  and  that  given  by  the  Bollandists,  are  of  late  date,  and  like  so 
many  of  the  Acts  of  Celtic  Saints,  abound  in  fables.] 

According  to  the  Irish  legendary  lives,  Kieran  of  Saigir 
was  bishop  in  Ireland  before  the  arrival  of  S.  Patrick. 
After  honouring  him  with  the  title  of  the  "  first-born  of  the 
saints  of  Ireland,"  these  lives  proceed  to  inform  us  that  his 
father  was  Lugneus,  a  noble  of  Ossory,  and  his  mother 
Liadain,  of  Corcalaighde,  (Carberry),  in  South  Munster. 
S.  Kieran  was  born  in  Cape  Clear  Island.     Having  spent 

March  i.]  S.  Kieran  or  Piran.  67 

thirty  years  in  Ireland  still  unbaptized,  he  heard  of  the 
Christian  religion  as  flourishing  at  Rome,  and  went  thither 
for  the  purpose  of  being  instructed.  There  he  was  bap- 
tized, and  remained  twenty  years,  studying  the  Scriptures 
and  canons,  after  which  he  was  ordained  bishop,  and  sent 
to  preach  in  his  own  country.  On  his  way  to  Ireland  he 
met  S.  Patrick  in  Italy,  who  was  not  as  yet  a  bishop,  and 
who  told  Kieran  that  he  would  follow  him  to  Ireland  in 
thirty  years  from  the  date  of  their  meeting.  This  must 
have  happened  in  402,  and  accordingly  Kieran,  being  then 
fifty  years  old,  was  born  in  352.  When  arrived  in  Ireland 
he  was  miraculously  directed,  as  S.  Patrick  had  told  him  he 
would,  to  the  place  since  called  Saigir,  (Seir-Kieran,  in 
King's  County),  where  he  erected  a  monastery.  Having 
ordained  an  innumerable  multitude  of  bishops  and  priests, 
he  died  at  the  age  of  300  ! 

Other  accounts  state  that  Kieran's  meeting  with  S. 
Patrick  somewhere  out  of  Ireland  occurred  several  years 
after  the  latter  had  commenced  his  apostolical  labours  in 
this  country.  Jocelin  places  it  at  a  time  when  S.  Patrick 
was  returning  from  Britain,  whither  he  had  gone  to  obtain 
a  supply  of  additional  helpers  for  his  mission,  and  tells  us 
that  Kieran  was  then  one  of  the  six  Irish  priests  who  were 
proceeding  to  foreign  countries  for  religious  improvement, 
and  all  of  whom  afterwards  became  bishops  in  their  own 
country.  In  the  Tripartite  history  of  S.  Patrick  the  precise 
place  of  meeting  is  not  given;  but,  what  is  more  to  the 
purpose,  it  is  represented  as  having  occurred  at  least  twelve 
years  after  S.  Patrick  had  begun  his  mission  in  Ireland,  and 
Kieran  is  stated  to  have  then  received  directions  from  the 
saint  concerning  the  district  in  which  he  should  erect  his 

It  appears,  however,  that'  he  was  no  disciple  of  S.  Patrick 
at  all,  and  did  not  live  in  his  times.     His  name  does  not 



68  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  j. 

occur  in  Tirechan's  list,  nor  in  any  of  the  Lives  of  S. 
Patrick,  except  in  those  two  just  quoted,  and  his  appear- 
ance in  them  is  evidently  due  to  the  legends  in  circulation 
concerning  the  meeting.  Had  S.  Kieran  been  a  disciple  of 
the  apostle,  how  could  he  have  become  a  scholar  of  S. 
Finnian  of  Clonard,  in  the  6th  century?  For  such  he  is 
stated  to  have  been,  not  only  in  the  Life  of  S.  Finnian,  and 
in  that  of  his  illustrious  namesake  of  Clonmacnois,  but  also 
in  the  tract  which  is  called  his  first  life,  and  which  enters 
into  more  particulars  than  the  other.  S.  Finnian's  school 
could  not  have  become  celebrated  before  534.  In  both 
Kieran's  lives  his  namesake  of  Clonmacnois,  who  died  in 
549,  and  the  two  Brendans,  one  of  whom  died  in  577,  and 
the  other  a  few  years  earlier,  are  spoken  of  as  having  had 
transactions  with  him. 

We  may  then  safely  conclude  that  he  belonged  to  the 
sixth  century,  became  distinguished  towards  the  middle  of 
it,  and  died  during  its  latter  half.  As  this  was  known  to  be 
the  case,  his  blundering  biographers  strove  to  reconcile 
their  nonsense  concerning  the  antiquity  and  privileges  of 
Saigir,  with  the  true  date  of  his  death,  by  making  him  die  at 
the  age  of  about  300  years,  although,  had  they  calculated 
better,  about  220  years  might  have  sufficed. 

Kieran,  we  may  safely  conclude,  was  made  a  bishop  about 
the  year  538.  Having  retired  to  a  lonesome  spot,  since 
called  Saigir,  he  led  at  first  the  life  of  a  hermit,  and  after 
some  time  erected  a  monastery,  around  which  a  city 
gradually  grew  up.  Next  he  established  a  nunnery  in  the 
neighbourhood  for  his  mother  Liadania,  and  some  pious 
virgins,  her  companions,  whence  the  church  Killiadhuin 
got  its  name.  Besides  the  care  of  his  monastery,  Kieran 
was  assiduously  employed  in  preaching  the  Gospel  in 
Ossory,  and  he  converted  a  great  number  of  heathen.  He 
is   usually  considered   to   have  been  the   first  bishop  of 


. — ■ * 

March  j.]  ,5*.  Kieran  or  Piran.  69 

Ossory,  and  founder  of  that  see.  It  is  singular  that,  not- 
withstanding all  that  is  said  in  the  lives,  in  praise  of  Kieran, 
he  is  not  much  spoken  of  in  the  accounts  of  contemporary 
saints,  and  that  none  of  the  Irish  annals  or  hagiologies  give 
the  date  of  his  death.  Hence  Colgan  was  inclined  to  think 
that  he  died  in  Cornwall,  and  is  to  be  identified  with 
S.  Piran,  of  Peranzabulo.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that 
in  Cornwall  Kieran  and  Piran  were  regarded  as  one  and 
the  same  person. 

If  S.  Piran  of  Peranzabulo  be  the  same  as  S.  Kieran 
of  Saigir,  his  bones  have  been  discovered  of  late  years, 
when  the  ancient  oratory  of  Peranzabulo,  near  Padstowe, 
in  Cornwall,  was  dug  out  of  the  sand.  In  favour  of 
this  identification,  Colgan  points  out  that  S.  Piran  was 
commemorated  at  Padstow  on  the  5  th  March,  the  same 
day  as  S.  Kieran  in  Ireland;  and  John  of  Tynemouth 
asserts  that  S.  Kieran  did  retire  from  Ireland  into  Corn- 
wall, where  he  spent  the  latter  part  of  his  life,  and  died. 
The  Cornish,  moreover,  change  the  K.  of  Irish  names 
into  P. 

Some  of  the  legends  related  of  S.  Kieran  deserve  to  be 
recorded.  He  is  said  when  a  little  boy  to  have  been 
bitterly  distressed  at  seeing  a  hawk  carry  off  a  little  bird  in 
its  talons.  Then  he  cried  to  God,  and  the  hawk  dropped 
its  prey. 

One  day  a  king  or  chief  in  the  neighbourhood  carried  off 
one  of  the  nuns  of  the  convent  governed  by  his  mother. 
Kieran  pursued  him  full  of  wrath,  and  coming  to  the  castle, 
bade  the  chief  restore  the  poor  maiden  to  her  cell.  "Not 
unless  the  cuckoo  should  rouse  me  to-morrow  morning," 
answered  the  chief.  Now  it  was  mid-winter.  But  that 
night  no  snow  fell  round  the  house  where  lodged  the  abbot, 
and  at  early  dawn  a  bird  perched  on  the  roof  under  the 
window  of  the  chief,  and  began  to  call  "Cuckoo,  cuckoo, 

^ — 4< 


7o  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

cuckoo  I"      Then  the  ravisher,  in  alarm,  started  from  his 
bed,  and  restored  the  nun  to  her  convent 

On  an  autumn  day,  Kieran  noticed  a  magnificent  bank  of 
blackberries,  so  large  and  ripe,  that  he  thought  it  a  sad  pity 
the  winter  should  come  and  destroy  them.  Therefore  he 
cast  a  cloak  over  the  bramble.  Now  it  fell  out  that  the  next 
ensuing  April,  Ethnea  Uacha  the  wife  of  king  ^Engus  was  ill, 
and  felt  a  craving  for  blackberries.  She  was  then,  with  her 
husband,  the  guest  of  Concraidh,  king  of  Ossory.  Con- 
craidh  told  S.  Kieran  of  the  strange  wish  of  the  lady,  and 
instantly  the  saint  remembered  the  hedge  of  blackberries 
covered  by  his  cloak,  and  he  went  and  plucked  as  many  as 
he  could  carry,  and  brought  them  to  the  sick  queen,  and 
she  ate  them  and  revived. 

One  day  S.  Kieran  of  Clonmacnois  and  the  two  Brendans 
visited  the  monastery.  The  steward  came  to  the  abbot 
in  dismay,  and  said,  "There  is  nothing  to  offer  these 
distinguished  guests  except  some  scraps  of  bacon,  and 

"  Then  serve  up  the  bacon  and  the  water,"  said  the  saint 
And  when  they  were  brought  on  the  table,  the  bacon  tasted  to 
every  man  better  than  anything  he  had  ever  tasted  before, 
and  as  for  the  water,  the  benediction  of  the  man  of  God  had 
converted  it  into  wine.  But  there  was  at  the  table  a  lay- 
brother,  and  when  he  had  some  bacon  put  before  him,  he 
thrust  his  platter  away  angrily,  for  he  was  tired  of  bacon, 
and  had  expected  something  better,  when  distinguished 
visitors  were  present.  "  Hah  !"  said  the  abbot, — '  not  by 
way  of  condemnation,  but  of  prophecy,' — "  The  time  will 
come  when  you,  son  of  Comgall,  shall  eat  ass's  flesh  in 
Lent,  and  soon  after  you  will  lose  your  head." 

It  is  also  related  that  there  was  a  boy  came  to  Saigir 
called  Crichidh  of  Clonmacnois,  and  remained  for  a  while 
under   the  abbot  Kieran.      Now  it  was  the  custom  and 



March  i.]  S.  Kiev  an  or  Piran.  71 

rule  of  S.  Kieran,  that  the  blessed  Paschal  fire  should  burn 
all  the  year.  But  out  of  mischief,  as  we  moderns  should 
say,  "  instigante  diabolo,"  as  the  mediaeval  chronicler  ex- 
presses it,  the  boy  put  the  fire  out.  Then  S.  Kieran  said  to 
the  brethren,  "  Look !  our  fire  is  extinguished  by  that  con- 
founded boy  (a  maledicto  puero),  Crichidh,  purposely,  for 
he  is  always  up  to  mischief  (sicut  solet  semper  nocere). 
And  now  we  shall  be  without  fire  till  next  Easter,  unless  the 
Lord  sends  us  some.  As  for  that  boy,  he  will  come  to  a 
bad  end  shortly."  And  so  it  was,  for  on  the  morrow  a  wolf 
killed  the  boy. 

Now  S.  Kieran  of  Clonmacnois,  to  whom  the  boy  be- 
longed, hearing  of  this,  came  to  Saigir,  and  was  courteously 
received  by  S.  Kieran  the  Elder.  But  there  was  no  fire, 
and  the  snow  fell  in  large  flakes ;  and  it  was  bitterly  cold, 
so  that  S.  Kieran  of  Clonmacnois  and  his  companions  sat 
blue  with  frost,  and  their  teeth  chattering.  Then  S.  Kieran 
of  Saigir  raised  his  hands  to  heaven,  and  prayed,  and  there 
fell  a  globe  of  fire  into  his  hands,  and  he  spread  the  lap  of 
his  chasuble  (casula),  and  went  with  the  fireball  in  it  before 
his  guests,  and  they  warmed  themselves  thereat.  And  after 
that,  dinner  was  served.  Then  said  S.  Kieran  of  Clonmac- 
nois, "I  will  not  eat  till  my  boy  is  restored  to  me." 
"  Brother,"  answered  S.  Kieran  of  Saigir,  "  I  knew  where- 
fore thou  didst  come ;  the  boy  is  now  on  his  way  hither." 
And  presently  the  door  opened,  and  the  boy  that  the  wolf 
had  eaten,  walked  in  alive  and  well. 

King  yEngus  of  Munster  had  seven  bards  "  who  were 
wont  to  sing  before  him,  harping,  the  deeds  of  heroes,"  but 
these  seven  men  were  murdered  and  drowned  in  a  bog, 
and  their  harps  were  hung  upon  a  tree  by  the  side  of  the 
morass.  S.  Kieran,  at  the  king's  request,  restored  the  seven 
harpers  to  life,  after  their  having  been  steeped  in  bog-water 
for  a  whole  month. 

^ —  *v 


72  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

Now  when  he  was  dying,  Kieran  besought  the  Lord  to 
bless  all  such  as  should  keep  his  festival.  "  And,"  says  his 
historian,  "  on  March  5th,  God  introduced  him  into  the  lot 
of  his  inheritance  in  the  vineyard,  and  planted  him  in  the 
mountain  of  his  possession,  even  in  the  celestial  Jerusalem, 
which  is  the  mother  of  us  all.  Wherefore,  then,  my 
brothers,  let  us  hold  a  most  solemn  feast  to  the  most  holy 
Kieran,  and  let  the  voice  of  praise  resound  in  the  taber- 
nacles of  the  righteous  ;  for  the  right  hand  of  the  Lord 
made  virtue  to  spring  up  in  this  man,  which  may  Jesus 
Christ  for  the  merits  of  his  servant  Kieran  cause  to  grow 
in  us  present  likewise,  that  we  may  be  meet,  He  being 
our  leader,  to  enter  into  the  courts  of  our  eternal  inheritance. 

(about  a.d.  618.) 

[Benedictine  and  Galican  Martyrologies  ;  but  at  Aries  on  October  10th, 
and  Greven  in  his  additions  to  Usuardus.  Authority: — A  life  by  an 
anonymous  writer,  long  posterior,  and  very  credulous.  It  contains  much 
idle  fable.] 

S.  Virgilius,  anativeof  Aquitania,  retired  in  childhood  to 
the  monastery  of  Lerins,  where  he  distinguished  himself  by 
his  virtues,  and  was  in  time  elected  abbot  One  night,  says 
the  historian  of  his  life,  who  deals  somewhat  largely  in 
popular  legend,  as  he  was  walking  round  the  island,  as  a 
good  pastor  keeping  guard  over  his  sheep-fold,  he  saw  a 
strange  ship  drawn  up  against  the  shore,  and  by  the  star 
light  he  saw  the  sailors  moving  on  the  deck.  Then  two 
descended  from  the  vessel,  and  coming  towards  him,  said, 
"Reverend  father,  we  know  who  thou  art,  and  greatly 
esteem  thy  incomparable  virtue,  the  fame  of  which  is  spread 
abroad  through  the  round  world,  and  many  there  are  of  the 



March  so  ,S.    Virgilius.  73 

faithful  in  far-off  lands  who  desire  to  see  thy  sanctity,  and 
hear  the  words  of  wisdom  that  distil  from  thy  lips.  And 
now  we  are  bound  for  Jerusalem,  come  therefore  with  us 
and  make  this  journey  to  the  holy  sites,  and  thy  name  will 
be  praised  by  all  men."  But  Virgilius  mistrusted  this 
address,  and  he  answered,  "  Ye  cannot  thus  deceive  an  old 
soldier  of  Christ !"  and  he  made  the  sign  of  the  cross. 
Then  the  ship  and  the  crew  vanished,  and  he  saw  only  the 
stars  winking  in  the  waves. 

From  Lerins  he  was  called,  in  588,  to  take  charge  of  the 
diocese  of  Aries,  by  the  unanimous  voice  of  the  people. 

He  is  said  to  have  been  the  consecrator  of  S.  Augustine 
of  Canterbury  to  his  mission  in  England,  by  order  of  S 
Gregory  the  Great,  from  whom  he  received  the  pall.  He 
built  several  churches  in  Aries  ;  amongst  others,  the  cathe- 
dral, which  he  dedicated  to  S.  Stephen,  and  the  church  of 
the  Saviour  and  S.  Honoratus.  Whilst  erecting  this  latter 
church,  the  legend  says  that  the  people  toiled  ineffectually 
to  move  the  pillars  to  their  destined  place.  At  last  they 
sent  word  to  S.  Virgil  that  the  truck  was  fast,  and  the  pillars 
could  neither  be  taken  od  nor  carried  back.  Then  Virgil 
hurried  to  the  spot,  and  saw  a  little  devil,  like  a  negro  boy, 
sitting  under  the  truck,  arresting  the  progress  of  the  wheels. 
Virgil  drove  him  away,  and  then  the  columns  were  easily 
moved.  By  his  prayers  he  is  also  reported  to  have  killed  a 
monstrous  serpent  which  infested  the  neighbourhood.  He 
was  buried  in  the  church  of  SS.  Saviour  and  Honoratus, 
which  he  had  built 

*—  *t 

* * 

74  Lives  of  tlie  Saints.  [March  5 

(a.d.    675.) 

[Venerated  at  Soissons.  Mentioned  in  some  of  the  additions  to  Usuar- 
dus,  and  later  Martyrologies.  Authority  : — A  Life  by  a  native  of  Soissons 
shortly  after  his  translation,  four  years  after  the  death  of  the  saint.] 

Drausinus  or  Drausius  was  a  native  of  Soissons,  and 
was  the  son  of  pious  parents  of  noble  rank.  He  was  edu- 
cated by  S.  Anseric,  bishop  of  Soissons,  on  whose  death  he 
was  called  to  fill  his  place.  His  virtues  and  charity  caused 
him  to  be  venerated  as  a  saint  immediately  after  his  death. 
S.  Thomas-a-Becket  had  recourse  to  his  intercession  when 
he  was  in  France,  before  returning  to  England. 

His  relics  were  dispersed  at  the  French  Revolution,  but 
his  tomb,  a  very  interesting  specimen  of  Gallo-Roman  art, 
is  preserved  in  the  Louvre.  The  Society  of  Antiquaries  at 
Soissons  has  made  many  attempts  to  recover  it  for  the 
cathedral  at  Soissons,  but  hitherto  in  vain. 

(a.d.   1209.) 

[Benedictine  Martyrology,  and  Saussaye  in  his  Gallican  Martyrology. 
Authorities  : — William  of  Puis-Laurent,  and  other  contemporary  historians 
of  the  Albigensian  war,  and  the  letters  of  Innocent  III.] 

The  name  of  the  Albigenses  probably  arose  from  the 
condemnation  of  these  heretics  at  the  council  of  Albi, 
under  the  presidence  of  Gerard,  bishop  of  that  diocese,  in 
the  year  1176. 

Under  the  name  was  included  that  vast  body  of  heretics 
which  agreed  on  certain  fundamental  dogmas,  but  differed 
on  minor  particulars,  as  they  borrowed  more  or  less  from 
Christianity.     They  inhabited  the  Duchy  of  Narbonne,  the 


* * 

March  $.]  B.  Peter  of  Castelnau.  75 

Marquisate  of  Toulouse,  and  the  southern  portion  of  the 
Duchy  of  Aquitaine,  mixed  with  Catholics  in  some  parts,  in 
other  parts  comprising  the  entire  population. 

Before  their  condemnation  by  the  Council,  they  had  been 
known  as  Cathari,  Patareni  or  Populicians,  a  corruption  of 
Paulicians;  and  were  a  branch  of  that  great  Manichsean 
inroad  which  entered  Germany,  Hungary,  Bulgaria,  and 
Bohemia,  where  the  name  Cathari  was  corrupted  into  Ket- 
zer,  and  which  spread  from  Northern  Italy  into  the  southern 
provinces  of  France,  where  Manichseism  completely  dis- 
placed Christianity  over  a  wide  area,  and  gained  a  head  and 
strength  it  was  unable  to  acquire  elsewhere. 

The  fundamental  principle  of  the  new  Manichaeans,  from 
which,  as  from  a  centre,  the  different  sects  radiated,  was  a 
Dualism  of  Good  and  Evil  Principles  equally  matched,  the 
Evil  Principle,  the  origin  of  the  visible  creation ;  the  Good 
Principle,  the  author  of  that  which  is  invisible.  This  oppo- 
sition of  matter  and  spirit  constituted  the  basis  of  their 
moral  systems.  These  systems  were  diverse;  some,  re- 
garding everything  natural  and  carnal  as  pertaining  to  the 
Evil  Principle,  abstained  from  meat,  cheese,  and  eggs,  from 
marriage,  and  from  whatever  employment  attached  them  to 
the  earth ;  whilst  others,  regarding  the  soul  as  so  distinct 
from  the  body  as  to  be  incapable  of  being  soiled  or  affected 
by  the  actions  of  the  fleshy  envelope,  gave  themselves  up 
to  the  grossest  licentiousness.  Into  the  theology  of  these 
new  Manichaeans,  contact  with  Christianity  had  introduced 
the  person  of  Christ,  but  in  their  scheme  He  occupied  no 
necessary  place.  He  was  held  to  be  subject  to  God,  and 
to  have  had  but  a  phantom  body ;  He  neither  suffered, 
died,  nor  rose  again,  except  in  appearance.  But  in  opposi- 
tion to  this  Docetism,  John  de  Lugio  taught  that  Christ  had 
a  real  body ;  and  some  of  the  Cathari — the  late  Albigenses 
— held  that  the  true  body  was  born  of  Mary  and  Joseph, 

* * 


j6  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

and  proceeded  from  the  Evil  Principle,  and  that  this  body 
died  on  the  Cross,  but  that  the  spiritual  and  good  Christ 
was  by  no  means  to  be  confused  with  the  historical  Christ 
of  the  Gospels.1 

With  the  doctrines  specially  professed  by  the  Albigenses 
it  is  possible  for  any  one,  who  chooses,  to  become  thoroughly 
acquainted,  as  there  is  abundant  material  from  which  the 
requisite  information  can  be  drawn.  Such  are  the  decrees 
of  councils  condemning  categorically  their  errors  ;  the  bulls 
of  popes  and  imperial  ordinances  denouncing  them ;  the 
letters  of  Innocent  III. ;  the  statutes  of  Raymond,  Count  of 
Toulouse ;  the  controversial  treatises  written  against  the 
heretics,  taking  each  of  their  doctrines  in  order,  to  refute 
them ;  and  lastly,  the  valuable  transactions  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion at  Toulouse,  published  by  Limborch,  containing  a  great 
number  of  cases,  the  interrogations,  and  confessions,  and 
sentences ;  the  archives  of  the  Inquisition  at  Carcassonne, 
portions  of  which  are  published  in  Vaissette,  and  the  Inqui- 
sitorial formulary  of  questions  put  to  Albigenses  as  to  their 
faith,  in  Ricchinus. 

The  doctrines  peculiar  to  the  Albigenses  were  these  : — 
There  were  two  Creators,  the  good  God,  who  was  the  author 
of  the  New  Testament,  and  who  made  the  world  of  good 
spirits ;  and  the  bad  God,  who  was  the  author  of  the  Old 
Testament,  and  Creator  of  the  visible  world,  and  of  the  evil 
spirits.2  This  latter  God  they  called  a  liar,  because  he  told 
the  first  man  :    "  The  day  thou  eatest  of  the  tree  thou  shalt 

1  The  best  account  of  the  Manichaean  tenets  of  the  medaeval  heretics  is  in  Hahn: 
Geschichte  der  Ketzer,  vol.  i. ;  the  texts  aTe  given  in  notes,  upon  which  he  bases 
his  opinion.  See  also  Gieseler's  Ecclesiastical  Hist.,  3rd  division,  chap.  vii. ;  but 
Gieseler  is  less  full  and  impartial  than  Hahn. 

*  "  Haereticus  ponit  duo  principia,  diabolum  dicens  creatorem  omnium  visibi- 
lium."  Pet.  Vallium  Sarnaii,  apud  Bouquet -ft*,  p.  5.  Reiner  in  Max.  Bibl.  xxv. 
p.  263.  "  Quorum  finis  est  Manichaeorum  induere  sectam  et  duos  fateri  Deos, 
quorum  malignus,  ut  procaciter  mentiuntur,  creavit  omnia  visibilia." — Lucas 
Tudens.  xvi.,  p.  340. 



March  m  B.  Peter  of  Castelnau.  77 

surely  die,"  and  man  did  not  die  the  same  day  that  he  broke 
the  commandment;  they  also  called  him  a  murderer  be- 
cause he  slew  Pharaoh  and  his  host,  and  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Plain.  This  bad  God  was  either  a  fallen  angel,1  or  the 
Son  of  the  chief  God  and  Creator,  who  had  two  sons,  Christ 
and  Satan.2  Others  held  that  the  good  God  had  two  wives, 
Colla  and  Coliba,  by  whom  he  begat  many  sons  and  daugh- 
ters.3 Others,  that  the  men  made  by  the  good  God  were 
good,  but  that  through  union  with  women,  whom  they 
derived  from  the  Evil  Principle,  they  fell.4  The  creation  of 
men  was  veiled  in  the  following  myth  by  some  of  the  Albi- 
genses.  The  devil  made  men  out  of  clay,  and  bade  God 
send  into  them  souls.  God  answered,  that  men  thus  con- 
structed would  be  too  strong,  "  They  would  dethrone  me." 
Whereupon  Satan  made  man  of  the  foam  of  the  sea ;  and 
God  said,  "  That  is  good,  he  is  a  mixture  of  strength  and 
fragility."  And  he  sent  a  soul  into  the  man  thus  made.5 
Generally  the  Albigenses  held  that  there  were  two  Christs  ; 
one  bad,  who  was  born  in  Bethlehem  of  Mary,  and  who 
was  crucified  ;  and  another  good,  who  had  a  phantom  body 
and  was  purely  spiritual,  and  who  appeared  on  earth  in  the 
body  of  the  Apostle  Paul.  The  good  Christ  neither  ate  nor 
drank,  but  the  bad  Christ,  the  Son  of  Mary,  lived  as  do 
other  men,  and  had  for  concubine,  Mary  Magdalene.6 

1  "  Sathanam  magnum  Luciferum  qui  propter  elevationem  et  nequitiam  suam 
de  throno  bonorum  cecidit  angelorum,  creatorem  coeli  et  terrae,  omniumque  rerum 
visibilium  et  invisiblium,  spirituum  malorum  creatorem  et  principem  et  Deum  esse 
profitebantur  ipsumque  legem  Moysi  dedisse  asseverant." — Chron.  Gonfredi  in 
Bouquet  xii.,  p.  448. 

*  "  Erant  alii  haeretici  qui  dicebant  quod  umis  est  Creator;  sed  habuit  filios, 
Christum  et  diabolum."     Petr.  Vail.  Sam.  apud  Bouquet  xix.  p.  J. 

»  Petr.  Vail.  Sam.  ib.,  c.  2. 

♦  Ibid.,  p.  5. 

•  Arch.  Inquisit.  Carcass,  in  Vaittettt  HI.,  p.  435. 

•  "  Dicebant  in  secreto  suo,  quod  Christus  ille  qui  natus  est  in  Bethlecm,  terrest- 
ori  et  visibili,  et  in  Hierusalem  crucifixus,  malus  fuit;  et  quod  Maria  Magdalena 
fait  ejus  concubina,  et  ipsa  fuit  muiler  in  adulterio  deprehensa,  de  qua  legitur  in 
Erangelio.     Bonus  enim  Christus    .    .    .    nunquam  comedit  rel  bibit,  nee  Yeram 



78  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  *. 

The  Trinity  was  naturally  rejected  by  the  Albigenses,  as 
incompatible  with  their  Dualism.  They  also  rejected  the 
Old  Testament  as  the  work  of  the  Evil  Principle ;  and  re- 
garded Moses,  the  Prophet,  and  even  John  the  Baptist,  as 
possessed  with  evil  demons.1 

With  regard  to  the  future,  some  of  the  Albigenses  taught 
that  the  souls  of  men  were  the  fallen  angels  condemned  to 
spend  seven  lives  in  human  bodies.  Others  denied  the 
existence  of  the  soul  altogether.2  With  such  disbelief  in 
the  immortality  of  the  soul,  or  such  notion  of  its  being  an 
angel  in  a  state  of  purgation,  the  resurrection  of  the  body, 
Purgatory  and  Hell  were  rejected  ;  and  with  them,  prayer 
for  the  dead  and  invocation  of  saints — for  how  pray  for  a 
soul  which  is  annihilated,  or  how  invoke  an  apostate  angel  ?3 

The  idea  of  a  visible  Church,  and  the  necessity  of  sacra- 
ments, could  not  be  entertained  with  such  a  creed  ;  and  the 
Albigenses  repudiated  baptism,  communion,  and  other  rites. 
Marriage  they  denounced  as  fornication,  and  they  con- 
demned intercourse  between  man  and  woman  as  sin  in  the 
higher  ranks  of  the  elect.4  Others,  however,  said  that  for- 
nication was  no  sin.5  But  this  refers  to  the  lower  order 
of  the  faithful. 

The  faithful  were  divided  into  two  orders  :  the  higher,  or 
"  perfect,"  who  wore  a  black  dress,  abstained  from  marriage, 

carnem  assumpsit,  nee  unquam  fuit  in  hoc  mundo  nisi  spiritualiter  in  corpore 
Pauli."  Petr.  Vail.  Sam.  apud  Bouquet  xix.  p.  $.  "  Quod  Dei  filius  non  assumpsit 
in  beata  et  de  beata  Virgine  carnem  veram,  sed  fantasticam."  Reg.  Inquisit. 
Carcass,  apud  Vaissette  ii.  p.  372. 

1  Petr .  Vail.  Sam.  ib.  xix.  p.  t,  ;  Reiner,  in  Mar.  Bibl.  xxv.  p.  263  ;  Lucas  Tu- 
dens.  ib.  p.  241 ;  Acta  Cone.  Lumbar.     Bouquet  xiv.  p.  438. 

*  Petr.  Vail.  Sarn.  ib.  p.  5,  6.  "  Dicunt  quod  anima  hominis  non  est  nisi  purut 
sanguis,"  Reg.  Inq.  Carcass.     Vaissette  p.  327. 

*  Lucas  Tud.  in  Max.  Bibl.  xxv.     De  altera  vita,  p.  193-212. 

*  Reiner,  in  Max.  Bibl.  xxv.  p.  263.  Petr.  Vail.  Sarn.  apud  Bouquet  xix.  p.  5,  etc. 
"  Sacrum  matrimonium  meretricium  esse,  nee  aliquem  in  ipso  salvari  posse  prse- 
dicabant,  filios  et  filias  generando." 

5  "  Dicunt  quod  simplex  fornicatio  non  est  peccatum  aliquod."  Reg.  Inq.  Car- 
cass. Faissette  iii.  p.  371. 



March  5.]  B.  Peter  of  Castelnau.  79 

the  eating  of  flesh,  eggs,  and  cheese ;  and  the  "  believers," 
who  gave  free  scope  to  their  lusts,  and  whose  salvation  was 
due  to  a  certain  ceremony  being  performed  over  them  by 
one  of  the  "perfect,"  which  was  called  the  "consolation." 
If  one  of  the  perfect  ate  the  least  morsel  of  meat  or  cheese 
or  egg,  he  sinned  mortally,  and  all  who  had  been  consoled 
by  him  fell  at  the  same  time  out  of  a  state  of  grace,  and  it 
was  necessary  for  them  to  be  re-consoled  ;  and  even  those 
who  were  saved  fell  out  of  heaven  for  the  sins  of  him  who 
had  consoled  them.  The  sacrament  of  consolation  was 
performed  by  one  of  the  "perfect"  laying  his  hands  upon 
one  of  the  "  believers,"  who  repeated  a  Pater  Noster ;  and 
such  act  placed  the  "  believer "  in  a  state  of  grace  from 
which  he  could  only  fall  by  the  fall  of  his  consoler.  This 
ceremony  was  performed  at  the  point  of  death. 

The  ceremony  of  reception  is  thus  described  by  Peter  of 
Vaux-Cernaix : — 

"  When  any  one  went  over  to  the  heretics,  he  who  re- 
ceived him  said,  '  Friend,  if  you  wish  to  be  one  of  us,  it 
behoves  you  to  renounce  the  whole  faith  that  is  held  by 
the  Roman  Church.'  He  must  answer,  'I  renounce.' 
'Then  receive  the  Holy  Spirit  from  the  good  men,'  and 
then  he  breathes  seven  times  in  his  face.  Also  he  says  to 
him,  '  You  must  renounce  that  cross  which  the  priest  made 
on  you  in  baptism,  on  your  breast,  and  on  your  shoulders, 
and  on  your  head,  with  oil  and  chrism.'  He  must  answer, 
4 1  renounce  it'  '  Do  you  believe  that  water  can  work  your 
salvation  f  He  answers,  4  I  do  not  believe  it'  4  You  must 
renounce  that  veil  which  the  priest  placed  on  your  head 
when  you  were  baptized.'  He  must  answer,  4 1  renounce 
it'  Thus  he  receives  the  baptism  of  the  heretics,  and  denies 
the  baptism  of  the  Church.  Then  they  all  place  their  hands 
upon  him,  and  kiss  him,  and  clothe  him  with  a  black  gar- 
ment, and  from  that  hour  he  is  as  one  of  themselves." 

* — 

*— — * 

8o  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

The  ceremony  of  consolation,  or  heretication,  was  only 
performed  at  the  point  of  death ;  but  if  the  sick  person 
should  show  signs  of  recovery,  he  or  she  was  required  to 
abstain  from  food,  or  to  open  a  vein,  so  as  to  prevent  con- 
valesence  and  precipitate  death.  I  may  as  well  give  a  few 
instances  which  came  under  the  notice  of  the  inquisitors  of 
Toulouse,  from  Limborch  : — 

"This  admission  was  believed  to  save  the  soul  of  the 
person  admitted,  and  was  called  spiritual  baptism,  the  con- 
solation, the  reception,  and  the  good  end  ;  and  it  was 
believed  that  those  sanctified  by  it  were  bound  from  that 
moment  to  abstain  from  touching  a  person  of  another  sex, 
and  from  food,  or  the  soul  fell  from  its  state  of  purification. 
Thus  we  read  of  the  trial  of  a  woman  whose  father  had 
been  received  amongst  the  Albigenses,  '  that  she  was  for- 
bidden by  her  father  to  touch  him,  because  after  his  recep- 
tion no  woman  ought  to  touch  him,  and  from  that  time  she 
never  did  touch  him.'  (Fol.  49.)  And  in  another  woman's 
trial,  '  that  it  was  unlawful  for  her  to  touch  Peter  Sancii,  and 
that  she  heard  that  it  was  reported  amongst  them  that  they 
neither  touch  a  woman,  nor  suffer  themselves  to  be  touched 
by  one.'  (Fol.  68.)  But  inasmuch  as  it  was  possible  that 
the  person  received  might  return  to  his  former  pollutions 
(says  Limborch  in  his  introduction  to  the  Acts  of  the  Inqui- 
sition), his  reception  was  delayed  to  his  last  sickness,  when 
there  was  no  more  hopes  of  recovery,  that  so  he  might  not 
lose  the  good  he  had  received  ;  for  which  reason  some  were 
not  admitted,  though  one  of  the  Albigenses  was  present, 
because  it  was  not  believed  they  would  immediately  die. 
Thus  it  is  reported  of  Peter  Sancii  (fol.  68)  that  having 
called  'to  hereticate  a  certain  sick  woman,  she  was  not 
then  hereticated,  because  he  did  not  think  it  proper,  upon 
account  of  her  not  being  weak  enough.'  And  afterwards, 
though  the  distemper  grew  more  violent,   Peter  Sancii  did 

* * 

— * 

not  hereticate  her,  because  she  recovered.    As  for  those  who 
were  received  during  their  illness,  they  were  commanded  to 
make  use  of  the  Endura,  that  is,  fasting,  and  to  hasten  death 
by  opening  a  vein  and  bathing.     Thus  it  is  related  of  a  cer- 
tain woman,  that  '  she  persevered  in  the  abstinence  which 
they  call  the  Endura  many  days,  and  hastened  her  bodily 
death  by  losing  her  blood,  frequent  bathing,  and  greedily 
taking  a  poisonous  draught  of  the  juice  of  wild  cucumbers, 
mixing  it  with  broken  glass,  that,  by  tearing  her  bowels,  she 
might  sooner  die.'      (FoL    14-&)      Of  another,  it  is  said, 
'  that  she  was  forbidden  by  her  mother-in-law  to  give  her 
little  daughter,  who  had  been  hereticated  by  Peter  Sancii, 
any  milk  to  drink,  by  which  the  child  died.'     (Fol.  46.) 
Another  confesses,   '  that  she  had  not  seen  her  father  since 
his  heretication  eating  or  drinking  anything  but  cold  water.' 
(Fol.  49.)     But  one  Hugo,  who  continued  several  days  in 
the  Endura,  did  afterwards,  by  his  mother's  persuasion,  eat 
and  recover.       (Fol.  63.)       The  same  year,  Peter  Sancii 
invited  him  '  to  enter  into  the  Endura,  and  so  to  make  a 
good  end  ;  but  he  would  not  agree  to  it  till  he  came  to  die.' 
The  same  Hugo  saw  '  that  Sancii  procured  and  hastened 
his  own  death  by  bleeding,  bathing,   and  cold.'       Peter 
Auterii  is  said  to  have  received  another  woman,   '  and  after 
her  reception  to  have  forbidden  any  meat  being  given  to 
the  said  hereticated  sick  woman ;  and  that  there  were  two 
women  who  attended  her,  and  watched  that  there  should 
be  neither  meat  nor  drink  given  her  the  whole  night,  nor 
the  following  day,  lest  she  should  lose  the  good  she  had 
received,  and  contradict  the  order  of  Peter  Auterii;  although 
the  said  sick  woman  begged  them  to  give  her  some  food. 
But  the  third  day  after  she  did  eat  and  grew  well.'     (Fol. 
65-^.)       In  the  sentence  of   Peter  Raymund  and  of  the 
Hugos,  we  read  these  things  concerning  the  Endura  :  '  You 
voluntarily  shorten  your  own  corporal  life,   and  inflict  death 

VOL.    III.  6 

8  2  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  j. 

upon  yourself;  because  you  put  yourself  in  that  abstinence, 
which  the  heretics  call  Endura,  in  which  Endura  you  have 
now  remained  six  days  without  meat  or  drink,  and  would 
not  eat,  nor  will,  though  often  invited  to  do  so.'  (Fol.  %i-b.) 
However,  all  would  not  subject  themselves  to  so  severe  a 
law.  For  we  read  of  a  certain  woman  '  that  she  suffered 
not  her  sick  daughter,  though  near  death,  to  be  received  ; 
because  then  her  said  daughter  must  be  put  in  the  Endura.' 
(Fol.  71.)  There  is  also  an  instance  of  a  woman,  who,  for 
fear  she  should  be  taken  up  by  the  Inquisitors,  put  herself 
in  the  Endura ;  and  sending  for  a  surgeon,  ordered  him  to 
open  one  of  her  veins  in  a  bath,  and  after  the  surgeon  was 
gone,  she  unbound  her  arm  in  the  bath,  that  so  the  blood 
running  out  more  freely,  she  might  sooner  die.  After  this 
she  bought  poison  in  order  to  destroy  herself.  Afterwards 
she  produced  a  cobbler's  awl,  which  in  that  barbarous  age 
they  called  alzena,  intending  to  run  it  into  her  side  ;  but  the 
women  disputing  among  themselves,  whether  the  heart  was 
on  the  right  side  or  the  left,  she  at  last  drank  up  the  poison, 
and  died  the  day  after.     (Fol.  3o-£)."» 

Now  a  great  deal  of  abuse  has  been  poured  on  the  In- 
quisition, and  its  crimes  have  been  vastly  exaggerated. 
Gieseler  speaks  of  the  bloodthirsty  Inquisition  as  a  "  mon- 
ster raging  with  most  frightful  fury  in  Southern  France," — 
strong  language  for  so  calm  an  historian.  But  we  ask,  was 
it  not  necessary  that  such  a  system,  destructive  of  life,  should 
be  put  down  ?  That  the  fautors  of  this  atrocious  self-mur- 
dering should  be  summarily  dealt  with,  when  they  persuaded 
mothers  to  let  their  children  perish  on  their  sick-beds,  men 
to  pine  themselves  to  death,  and  women  to  swallow  broken 
glass,  to  tear  their  bowels,  when  their  health  began  to 
amend?  We  have  got  the  Acts  of  the  Inquisition  at 
Toulouse  during  sixteen  years  that  it   "  raged  with  frightful 

1  1  listeria  Inquisitionis,  Amst.  1692,  c.  8. 

March  i j  B.  Peter  of  Castelnau.  83 

fury,"  i.e.,  between  1307  and  1323.  The  whole  number  of 
cases  reported  is  932  ;  but  it  is  obvious  that  the  same  indi- 
vidual might,  and  in  fact  did,  often  reappear  before  the 
Inquisition  more  than  once  in  the  course  of  sixteen  years. 
Having  confessed  some  connection  with  heresy,  he  was 
sentenced  to  wear  a  little  cross,  or  tongue  of  red  cloth,  let 
into  the  garments,  or  simply  to  wear  a  cross  round  the  neck, 
or  to  make  a  pilgrimage  to  a  certain  church,  or  to  use  certain 
prayers  ;  of  such  sentences  1 74  are  recorded.  If  the  person 
condemned  to  do  this  disobeyed,  he  was  put  in  prison  for  a 
while;  there  were  218  such  cases.  If  he  escaped  from 
prison,  or  ran  away  from  the  country,  he  was  condemned  as 
a  fugitive ;  there  were  38  of  these.  Some  of  the  leaders  of 
the  heresy  who  had  caused  the  death  of  many  persons,  and 
incorrigible  heretics  who  had  broken  out  of  prison,  were 
condemned  to  death ;  there  were  40  fautors  of  heresy  sen- 
tenced— twenty-nine  Albigenses,  seven  Waldenses,  and  four 
Beghards ;  thirty-two  of  these  were  men,  and  eight  were 
women.  Among  the  sentences  recorded  are  113  remissions 
of  penances,  139  discharges  from  prison,  and  90  sentences 
of  heresy  pronounced  against  persons  deceased.1 

Now  when  we  consider  what  these  Albigensian  "perfect" 
men  were,  and  how  dangerous  they  were  to  the  well-being 
of  society,  by  their  influence  over  superstitious  and  ignorant 
peasants,  urging  them  to  self-murder,  and  thus  causing  the 
death  of  very  many  persons,  we  do  not  think  that  the  Inqui- 
sition at  Toulouse  deserves  all  the  odium  that  has  been  cast 
upon  it.  Many  of  those  whom  it  condemned  to  death 
would  probably  have  received  a  sentence  of  transportation 
for  life  in  England  at  the  present  day  j  and  though  the  exe- 
cution of  from  two  to  three  persons  a  year  is  certainly  to  be 

»  A  large  number  of  the  sentences— all  the  most  important— are  translated  and 
published  in  Maitland"s  Tracts  and  Documents,  together  with  many  of  the  letters, 
bulls,  edicts,  and  controversial  writings  on  the  Albigenses. 


84  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  5. 

deplored,  it  is  not  just  to  denounce  the  Inquisition  as  blood- 
thirsty, when  it  sentenced  to  death  those  who  had  caused 
many  innocent  and  ignorant  persons  to  immolate  themselves. 
We  do  not  for  a  moment  pretend  to  justify  the  Albigensian 
war ;  but  we  can  understand  the  alarm  caused  to  the  Pope 
and  to  Christian  France  by  the  heathen  reaction  in  Pro- 
vence, Narbonne,  and  Toulouse.  Nor  were  the  Albigenses 
free  from  blame  in  other  particulars.  They  exhibited  their 
contempt  for  Christian  churches  and  sacraments  in  a  pecu- 
liarly offensive  manner,  likely  to  exasperate  Catholics  to  the 
uttermost.  One  instance  shall  suffice,  and  that  is  so  gross 
that  it  must  be  given  in  Latin  : — 

"  Erat  quidam  pessimus  haereticus  apud  Tolosam,  Hugo 
Faber  nomine,  qui  quondam  lapsus  est  in  dementiam,  quod 
juxta  altare  cujusdam  ecclesiae  purgavit  ventrem,  et  in  con- 
temptum  Dei,  cum  palla  altaris  tersit  posteriora  sua  .  . 
quae  omnia  cum  vir  venerabilis  abbas  Cistercii  .  .  . 
Comiti  retulisset,  et  eum  moneret  ut  puniret  qui  tantum 
faciens  perpetrarat,  respondit  comes  quod  nullo  modo 
propter  hoc  puniret  in  aliquo  cives  suos." 

Peter  of  Castelnau,  of  whom  we  have  now  to  speak,  sprang 
from  an  illustrious  family  in  the  diocese  of  Montpellier,  and 
was  archdeacon  of  Maguelonne,  when  he  was  appointed  by 
the  Pope  to  be  one  of  his  legates  in  the  southern  provinces 
infected  with  heresy.  But  the  desire  of  a  higher  perfection 
led  Peter  to  renounce  the  honours  of  the  world,  and  in 
1200,  to  receive  the  Cistercian  habit  in  the  abbey  of  Font- 

In  1203,  he  was  again  obliged  to  resume  his  labours  as 
legate,  together  with  Brother  Raoul,  his  colleague,  a  Cister- 
cian monk  like  himself.  He  visited  Toulouse,  where  his 
efforts  to  repress  heresy  met  with  indifferent  success.  In 
1204,  he  met  the  leaders  of  the  Albigenses  in  conference  at 


March  s.]  B.  Peter  of  Caste Inau.  85 

Hopeless  of  effecting  any  good  result,  Peter  of  Castelnau 
implored  the  Holy  Father  to  relieve  him  of  the  burden  laid 
on  him,  which,  he  said,  was  more  than  he  could  bear.  But 
the  Pope  refused  to  permit  him  to  resign  his  office,  and  Peter 
was  obliged  to  revisit  Toulouse  in  1205,  and  exact  of  the 
Count  of  Toulouse  an  oath  that  he  would  suppress  by  fire 
and  sword  the  heresy  that  pervaded  his  domains.  He  was 
ordered  on  pain  of  excommunication  to  become  the  inqui- 
sitor and  executioner  of  his  own  subjects. 

At  the  same  time  Peter  deposed  Raymond,  bishop  of 
Toulouse,  and  thus  prepared  the  way  for  the  election  of  his 
friend  Foulques,  a  fierce  and  bloodthirsty,  if  zealous  souL1 
Then  the  legate  turned  to  the  Rhone,  and  traversed  the 
provinces  of  Aries  and  Vienne.  In  1206,  he  was  at  Mont- 
pellier,  deploring  with  his  colleague,  Raoul,  the  sterility  of 
their  united  efforts.  At  this  time  of  disappointment,  God, 
who,  to  use  the  words  of  William  de  Puylaurens,  "knows 
always  how  to  hold  in  reserve  His  arrows  in  the  quiver  of 
His  Providence,"  sent  them  out  of  Spain  two  holy  and 
valiant  athletes.  In  July,  1206,  the  venerable  Diego  di 
Azebes,  bishop  of  Osma,  accompanied  by  the  sub-prior  of 
his  church,  tapped  at  their  door  with  his  pilgrim's  staff. 
They  opened,  and  admitted  with  the  bishop  that  sub-prior, 
who  was  S.  Dominic. 

The  legates  opened  their  hearts  to  the  bishop,  and  told 
him  of  their  despair.  The  bishop  gently  reproved  them, 
and  bade  them  have  a  good  courage,  and  preach  the  Word 
in  season  and  out  of  season,  and  be  careful  to  set  a  holy 
example.  Let  them  go  forth  with  neither  scrip  nor  purse, 
like  the  apostles ;  and  the  success  which  had  not  attended 
two  legates  ambling  over  the  country  on  their  mules,  would 

1  Foulques  was  famous  as  a  troubadour  for  his  licentious  poetry.  His  biography 
is  given  Decemljer  25  :  by  an  irony  of  fate,  the  commemoration  of  this  firebrand  is 
on  Christmas  Day,  when  "  Peace  on  earth  "  was  sung  by  angels. 

* * 

86  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

attend  two  apostles  going  barefoot.  The  advice  of  the 
bishop  was  approved ;  the  legates  only  asked  of  him  to 
accompany  them  with  his  sub-prior.  The  bishop  consented, 
and  the  four  set  forth  one  morning  out  of  Montpellier,  with- 
out shoes  on  their  feet,  and  no  money  in  their  pouch.  At 
once  the  difficulties  melted  away,  and  numerous  conversions 
were  made.  At  Beziers  and  Carcassonne,  they  met  with 
great  success.  The  whole  town  of  Caraman,  on  the  Laura- 
guais,  abjured  heresy.  But  their  success  was  not  lasting : 
Peter  saw  that  the  only  way  in  which  he  could  hope  to 
extinguish  heresy  was  by  a  more  persuasive  weapon  than 
the  tongue. 

However,  he  returned  into  the  heat  of  the  battle  shortly 
after,  to  attend  the  conference  with  the  heretics,  held  at 
Montreal.  After  this  the  four  apostles  separated  to  preach 
in  different  parts.  Peter,  finding  that  Raymond,  Count  of 
Toulouse,  hung  back  from  using  the  sword  to  constrain  his 
people  to  abjure  their  heresy,  excommunicated  him,  and 
the  Count  at  once  swore,  as  he  had  done  before,  that  he 
would  put  down  the  errors  of  Albigensianism.  Peter  of 
Castelnau  felt  that,  to  use  his  own  words,  "The  cause  of 
Jesus  Christ  will  not  succeed  in  these  lands,  till  one  of  us 
who  preach  in  His  name  shall  die  in  defence  of  the  faith ; 
may  it  please  God  that  I  shall  be  the  first  to  feel  the  sword 
of  the  persecutor." 

The  Count  met  the  legate  at  S.  Gilles,  on  the  banks 
of  the  Rhone,  for  conference,  which  led  to  nothing.  On 
January  15th,  1209,  Peter  had  said  Mass,  and  was  pre- 
paring to  cross  the  river,  when  two  men  ran  up,  and  one 
of  them  pierced  him  through  the  sides  with  a  lance.  Peter 
fell  down,  exclaiming,  "Lord,  pardon  him,  as  I  forgive 
him ! "  then  he  said  a  few  words  to  his  fellows,  and  died, 
praying  fervently.  The  Count  seems  to  have  been  guiltless 
of  ordering  or  approving  the  murder. 

»J»- ^ 


March  s.]       S.  John-Joseph  of  the  Cross.  87 

(a.d.   1734.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority : — His  Life  by  the  P.  Diodati,  pub- 
lished at  Naples,  in  1794.  He  was  inscribed  by  Pius  VI.  among  the 
number  of  the  Beatified  on  May  15th,  1789 ;  and  he  was  canonized  by 
Gregory  XVI.  on  May  26th,  1839.] 

S.  John-Joseph  of  the  Cross,  who  must  not  be  con- 
founded with  S.  John  of  the  Cross  (Nov.  16th),  was 
born  in  the  island  of  Ischia,  on  the  Feast  of  the  Assump- 
tion, in  the  year  1654,  of  respectable  parents,  Joseph 
Calosirto  and  Laura  Garguito,  and  was  baptized  under 
the  name  of  Charles  Cajetan.  The  family  must  have 
been  one  of  singular  piety,  for  five  of  his  brothers 
entered  religion.  The  subject  of  our  memoir,  as  a  child, 
exhibited  a  precocious  piety.  He  chose  as  his  room  a 
small  chamber  in  the  most  retired  portion  of  the  house, 
where  he  erected  a  little  altar  to  Our  Lady,  on  whose 
great  festival  he  had  been  born,  and  towards  whom, 
through  life,  he  manifested  a  filial  devotion.  From  the 
earliest  age  also  he  manifested  a  great  repugnance  from 
sin.  His  pure  childish  soul  shivered  and  shrank  from 
the  breath  of  evil,  as  a  young  spring  flower  from  a  frozen 

The  knowledge  of  evil  without  bringing  guilt  to  the 
soul,  unless  voluntarily  received  and  harboured  with 
delight,  leaves  on  it  a  mark,  so  that  the  soul  knowing 
evil  cannot  have  the  freshness  of  a  guiltless  and  ignorant 
soul.  The  little  saintly  boy,  taught  of  God,  seems  un- 
consciously to  have  felt  this,  and  he  manifested  none  of 
that  curiosity  after  evil  which  is  one  of  the  tokens  of 
our  fallen  nature,  and  which  leads  the  young  mind  first 

^ . . * 

88  Lives  of  the  Saints.  March  5.i 

to  the  knowledge  of  evil,  and  then,  it  may  be,  to  the  per- 
petration of  it. 

Feeling  a  great  desire  for  the  religious  life,  he  entered  the 
order  of  S.  Francis,  as  reformed  by  S.  Peter  of  Alcantara, 
in  Naples,  and  assumed  the  habit  at  the  age  of  sixteen, 
taking  at  the  same  time  the  name  of  John-Joseph  of  the 
Cross.  This  was  in  1671.  His  noviciate  lasted  three  years; 
and  at  the  age  of  nineteen,  his  superior  found  him  suffici- 
ently perfect  to  be  entrusted  with  the  direction  of  the  build- 
ing of  a  convent  at  Piedimonte  di  Agila,  and  the  organizing 
of  discipline  therein. 

On  arriving  at  the  proper  age,  he  was  ordained  priest, 
and  soon  after  retired  into  a  forest,  where  he  built  him- 
self a  cell,  and  resided  as  a  hermit.  Soon  five  little 
hermitages  clustered  around  his  cell,  and  a  church  was 
built  for  the  accommodation  of  the  anchorites.  But  his 
superiors  recalled  him  to  the  monastery  to  undertake  the 
charge  of  the  novices,  and  somewhat  later  he  was  ap- 
pointed superior  of  the  house  at  Piedimonte  di  Agila, 
which  had  risen  under  his  care.  He  suffered  about 
this  time  from  extreme  dryness.  It  was  to  him  as 
though  the  face  of  God  were  turned  away  from  him, 
and  he  felt  agonies  of  fear,  thinking  that  through  want 
of  judgment  or  unbecoming  example,  he  might  have 
retarded  the  advance,  and  perhaps  lost  some,  of  the 
souls  of  the  novices  who  had  been  entrusted  to  his 
care.  But  one  of  the  brethren  who  had  lately  died 
appeared  to  him  in  a  vision,  and  comforted  him,  as- 
suring him  that  his  novices  were  all  leading  an  edify- 
ing life. 

He  was  afterwards  appointed  Superior  of  the  convent, 
an  office  in  which  he  displayed  great  judgment,  but  which 
withdrew  him  too  much  from  spiritual  meditation  and  read- 
ing to  be  congenial  with  his  tastes. 



March  s.]       S.  J  ohn-J  oseph  of  the  Cross. 


At  his  request  he  was  relieved  of  the  office  of  Superior, 
and  was  again  made  director  of  the  novices,  and  fulfilled 
the  duties  of  this  office  for  four  years. 

He  died  on  March  5th,  1734,  in  the  convent  of  S.  Lucia, 
at  Naples. 

;ahi-.;auE  of  the  virgin. 

After  a  bas-relief  by  Orcagna 


* * 

go  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  6. 

March  6. 

S.  Marcian,  B.M.  at  Tortona,  circ.  A.rx  ia<x 

SS.  Victor,  Victorinus,  Claudian  and  Bassa,  MM.  at  Nico- 

media  and  Apatnea,  yd  cent. 
S.  Quiriacus,  P.C.  at  Treves,  \th  cent. 
S.  Evagrius,  Patr.  of  Constantinople,  endof^th  cent. 
S.  Sezin,  Ab.  in  Brittany,  6th  cent. 
S.  Fridolin,  Ab.  ofSickingen,  end  of 'jth  cent. 
SS.  Kyneburga,  Kyneswitha  and  Tibba,  W.  at  Peterborough, 

end  of  7 th  cent. 
SS.  Balther  and  Bilfred,  HH.  at  Lindisfarne,  circ.  a.d.  756. 
S.  Chrodegang,  B.  of  Metz,  a.d.  766. 

SS.  Forty-two  Martyrs,  tinder  the  Saracens,  in  Syria,  circ.  a.d.  841 
S.  Cadroe,  Ab.  at  Metz,  a.d.  988. 

B.  Oldegar,  B.  of  Barcelona,  and  Archb.  of  Tarragona,  A.D.  1137. 
S.  Colkttk,  V.  at  Ghent,  a.d.  1447. 

(6th  cent.) 

[Venerated  in  Brittany,   patron  of  the  parish  of  Guic-Sezni,   in  the 
diocese  of  S.  Pol-de-Leon.] 

j]F  this  abbot  nothing  certain  is  known.     Colgan 

attempted    to  identify  him  with  S.   Isserninus, 

the  companion  of  S.    Patrick.      According   to 

Albert  le  Grand,  S.  Sezin  was  born  in  Ulster,  in 

402,  studied  at  Rome,  became  a  bishop  in  Ireland,   and 

passed  into  Brittany  in  477,  where  he  died  as  late  as  529, 

having  lived  127  years.     But  the  lections  in  the  Breviary 

of  S.   Pol  de  Leon,  from  which    Albert   le  Grand   made 

up  this  history,  are  for  the  most  part  taken  word  for  word 

from  the  Life  of  S.  Kieran.     We  may  allow  that  the  saint 

was  an  Irishman,  and  that  he  died  at  Guic-Sezni,  in  the 

beginning  of  the  6th  century,  but  that  is  all  we  can  say  of 





March  6.j  6".  Fridoltft.  91 


(END   OF    7TH   CENT.) 

[Molanus  and  Greven  in  their  additions  to  Usuardus.  Canisius  in  his 
German  Martyrology.  Anglican  and  later  Irish  and  Scottish  Martyr- 
ologies.  The  Acts  of  Fridolin  were  preserved  in  a  monastery  on  the 
Moselle,  where  they  were  found,  and  recast  in  a  more  ornate  style,  by  a 
monk,  Balther,  in  the  beginning  of  the  12th  cent.  The  story  of  this  is 
rather  curious.  In  the  monastery  of  Sickingen  there  was  no  copy  of  the  life 
of  S.  Fridolin,  on  account  of  the  monastery  having  been  destroyed  by  the 
Huns  about  938.  But  Balther,  a  monk  of  Sickingen,  happening  to 
visit  a  monastery  on  the  Moselle,  which  had  been  founded  by  S.  Fridolin, 
found  the  life  there.  He  asked  for  it,  but  the  prior  refused  to  give  it  him, 
so  he  learned  it  by  heart,  as  well  as  he  could,  ' '  partly  carrying  it  away  word 
for  word,  and  partly  gathering  the  subject-matter,"  after  which  he  set  to 
work  and  re-wrote  it,  incorporating  the  portions  he  knew  by  heart  with 
that  portion  which  he  wrote  in  his  own  words.  He  says  that  he  was 
puzzled  to  find  that  in  the  MS.  the  saint  was  called  Fridhold,  whereas  at 
Sickingen  they  were  wont  to  call  him  Fridolin.  Fridhold  was  undoubtedly 
the  ancient  and  most  correct  form  of  the  name,  and  Fridolin  is  a  diminu- 

Fridolin  the  Traveller  was  a  native  of  Ireland,  what 
his  name  there  was  is  not  known,  as  we  only  hear  of  him 
by  his  Teutonic  appellation,  signifying  "Gentle  Peace." 
His  birth  was  illustrious,  and  he  is  usually  said  to  have  been 
the  son  of  a  king,  but  Balther  merely  says  he  was  a  person 
of  distinguished  piety.  Having  embraced  the  ecclesiastical 
state,  he  was  raised  to  the  priesthood,  and  preached  with 
great  zeal  for  some  time  in  various  parts  of  Ireland. 
Wishing  to  visit  foreign  countries,  he  passed  over  to  France, 
and  after  preaching  there,  became  a  member  of  S.  Hilary's 
monastery  at  Poitiers,  where  he  remained  for  a  considerable 
time,  and  was  so  much  esteemed  by  the  community,  and 
the  bishop  and  clergy,  that  he  was  elected  abbot.  He  then 
completed  an  object  which  he  had  greatly  at  heart,  the  re- 
building of  S.  Hilary's  Church,  in  which  he  was  assisted  by 
king  Clovis,  and  by  the  bishop  and  the  inhabitants ;  and  he 


92  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  6. 

placed  in  it  the  remains  of  the  saint,  reserving  a  few  por- 
tions of  the  relics  for  himself,  During  this  time  he  was 
visited  by  two  priests,  relatives  of  his,  who  had  been 
labouring  as  missionaries  in  Northumberland.  Leaving 
them  at  Poitiers,  and  taking  with  him  some  of  the  relics 
of  S.  Hilary,  Fridolin  went  to  the  east  of  France,  and 
erected  a  monastery  on  the  banks  of  the  Moselle,  which  he 
dedicated  to  S.  Hilary,  and  which  was  called  Helera. 
Having  remained  there  only  as  long  as  was  necessary  to 
complete  that  foundation,  he  built  a  church  amidst  the 
Vosges,  likewise  in  honour  of  S.  Hilary,  perhaps  that 
which  was  named  Hilariacum,  the  modern  S.  Avoid,  in  the 
Department  of  Moselle.  Thence  he  proceeded  to  Strass- 
burg,  where  also  he  erected  a  church  under  the  same  in- 
vocation. Next  we  find  him  at  Coire,  in  the  Grisons, 
and  there  likewise  founding  a  Church  of  S.  Hilary.  While 
there,  he  inquired  of  the  inhabitants  if  there  were  any  island 
in  the  Rhine  as  yet  uninhabited,  and  was  informed  there 
was  one,  of  which,  however,  they  could  not  give  him  a 
precise  account.  He  went  in  search  of  it,  and  at  length 
found  the  island  of  Sickingen,  a  few  miles  above  Basle. 
When  examining  it  for  the  purpose  of  discovering  whether 
it  were  fit  for  the  erection  of  a  church,  he  was  beaten  and 
ill-treated  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  neighbouring  district. 
But  having  obtained  a  grant  of  the  island  from  the  king,  he 
founded  a  church,  and  a  religious  house  for  women,  towards 
the  endowment  of  which  he  got  some  lands  from  Urso,  a 
nobleman  of  Glarus.  Thenceforth  he  spent  the  remainder 
of  his  life  at  Sickingen,  together  with  some  disciples  of  his, 
of  whom  he  formed  a  community,  prior,  it  is  said,  to  his 
having  established  the  nunnery.  He  died  there  on  the  6th 
of  March,  but  in  what  year  is  not  known.  There  are  great 
doubts  even  as  to  the  century  in  which  he  flourished ;  but 
it  is  most  probable  that  he  belonged  to  the  latter  part  of  the 




March  6.]  .S'.S.   Kyneburga,  &c.  93 

7th  century.  Some  writings  have  been  attributed  to  the 
saint,  but  upon  no  sufficient  authority.  Many  writers 
suppose  that  he  arrived  in  France  in  the  reign  ot  Clovis  I., 
but  it  is  more  probable  that  it  was  in  the  reign  of 
Clovis  III.  According  to  Balther,  Christianity  seems  to 
have  been  completely  established  in  Ireland  at  the  time  of 
Fridolin's  departure  for  France,  and  this  representation 
does  not  suit  the  religious  state  of  Ireland  at  the  period 
when  Clovis  I.  reigned.  The  holy  expeditions  of  mission- 
aries from  Ireland  to  the  continent,  had  not  begun  as 
early  as  the  6th  century.  Next  comes  the  very  remarkable 
circumstance  of  the  priests,  the  nephews  of  Fridolin, 
coming  from  Northumberland.  There  were  no  Irish 
priests  in  Northumberland  until  the  year  635.1 

S.  Fridolin  is  regarded  as  the  tutelar  patron  of  the 
Canton  of  Glarus,  which  bears  on  its  coat  of  arms  a  figure 
of  the  saint 


(END  OF  7TH  CENT.) 

[Anglican  Martyrologies.  Authorities  : — Bede,  lib.  iii.  c.  21,  Ingulf, 
and  William  of  Malmesbury.] 

An  obstinate  tradition  found  in  the  ancient  English 
Chronicles  asserts  that  two  daughters  of  the  savage  old 
heathen  Penda,  king  of  Mercia,  Kyneburga  and  Kyne- 
switha,  both  gave  up  the  thought  of  marriage  to  consecrate 
themselves  to  God.  The  eldest,  who  was  married  to 
Alcfrid,  the  eldest  son  of  king  Oswy  of  Northumbria,  is  said 
to  have  left  him  with  his  consent,  after  having  lived  with 
him  some  years  in  virginal  continence,  to  end  her  life  in 

>  See  Dr.  Lanigan's  Irish  Eccl.  Hist.  ii.  p.  483-6. 



94  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  6. 

the  cloister.  The  youngest,  sought  in  marriage  by  Offa, 
king  of  the  East  Saxons,  used  her  connection  with  him  only 
to  persuade  the  young  prince  to  embrace  the  monastic  life  as 
she  herself  desired  to  do.  But  it  has  been  proved  that  the 
two  daughters  of  the  bloody  Penda  contributed  with  theii 
brothers  to  the  establishment  of  the  great  abbey  of  Mede- 
hampstede,  or  Peterborough,  that  their  names  appear  in 
the  list  of  the  national  assembly  which  sanctioned  this 
foundation,  and  that  it  was  not  till  after,  that  they  retired  to 
lead  a  religious  life  at  Dermundcaster,  now  Caister,  near 
Peterborough,  on  the  confines  of  Huntingdon  and  North- 
ampton. There  Kyneburga  became  the  abbess  of  a 
community  of  nuns,  when  she  was  shortly  joined  by  her 
sister  Kyneswitha,  and  a  kinswoman  Tibba. 

After  their  death,  they  were  buried  at  Peterborough. 
When  the  Danes  wasted  England,  their  bodies  were  carried 
to  Thorney,  but  were  brought  back  again  in  the  days  of 
king  Henry  I. 

Camden,  in  his  account  of  Rutland,  informs  us  that 
S.  Tibba  was  held  in  particular  veneration  at  Ryall  on  the 


(ABOUT    A.D.   756.) 

[Anglican  and  Scottish  Martyrologies.  Authorities  : — Aberdeen  Bre- 
viary, Hector  Boece,  Hist.  Scot.  lib.  ix.  Matthew  of  Westminster  under 
date  941 ;  Turgot  of  Durham,  &c] 

S.  Balther  is  supposed  to  be  identical  with  S.  Baldred, 
commemorated  the  same  day  in  the  Scottish  Martyrologies. 

S.  Baldred  is  said  to  have  lived  a  solitary  life  on  the 
Bass-rock.  At  the  entrance  of  the  Frith  of  Forth  was  a 
dangerous  rock  just  above  the  level  of  low  tide  which 
proved  a  cause  of  continual  shipwreck.     Baldred,  says  the 



March  6.j  ^^  B alther  &  Bilf red.  95 

lection  in  the  Aberdeen  Breviary,  compassionating  the 
sailors,  went  to  the  rock,  and  standing  on  it,  it  swam  away 
under  him  "  like  a  boat,"  and  he  conducted  it  to  a  place 
where  it  could  do  no  mischief,  and  there  he  rooted  it  again. 

He  died  at  Aldham  (Alderstone),  and  his  body  was 
claimed  by  the  neighbouring  parishes  of  Tyningham  and 
Preston.  A  contest  arose  between  the  three  parishes,  and 
the  story  is  told,  which  occurs  also  in  that  of  S.  Tyllo,  that 
in  the  morning  there  were  three  precisely  similar  bodies,  so 
that  each  parish  was  able  to  possess  S.  Baldred. 

In  951,  Anlaf  the  Dane  burnt  the  church  and  mona- 
stery of  Tyningham,  and  immediately  after  was  struck  with 
sudden  sickness,  and  died.  The  body  of  S.  Balther  was  re- 
discovered by  revelation,  by  a  priest,  Elfrid,  two  centuries 
later,  whose  mission  seems  to  have  been  the  recovery  of  lost 
relics,  for  he  found  also  those  of  SS.  Bilfred,  Acca,  Alkmund 
the  bishop,  king  Oswin,  and  the  abbesses  Ebba  and  Ethel- 
githa,  being  directed  to  them  all  by  visions.  The  bones  of 
S.  Balther  and  S.  Bilfred  were  put  together  with  the  body 
of  S.  Cuthbert  in  his  shrine  at  Durham.  But  they  were 
removed  from  the  shrine  again  in  1104,  the  head  of  S. 
Oswald  being  alone  left  with  S.  Cuthbert,  and  were  put  in 
the  shrine  of  the  Venerable  Bede. 

S.  Bilfred  was  a  goldsmith,  who  is  said  to  have  chased  a 
book  of  the  Gospels  with  gems  in  gold,  which  was  long 
preserved  at  Durham,  and  is  now  in  the  Cottonian  library 
in  the  British  Museum.  On  the  cover  is  "|^  Eadfrid, 
Oetilwald,  Billfrith,  Aldred  hoc  Evangelium  Deo  et  Cuth- 
berto  uonstruxerunt  et  ornaverunt;"  above  this  in  Saxon 
characters,  and  in  a  Northumbrian  dialect,  "  And  Billfrith, 
the  anchorite,  he  fabricated  the  curious  works  that  are  on 
the  outside,  and  it  adorned  with  gold  and  with  gems,  also 
with  silver  overgilded,  a  priceless  treasure."  Billfrith  is 
supposed  to  be  a  local  form  of  Bilfred. 


96  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  6. 

(a.d.  766.) 

[Metz  Martyrology,  Molanus  and  Herimann  Greven  in  their  additions  to 
Usuardus.  Belgian  Martyrologies,  and  Saussaye  in  his  Gallia  Christiana. 
Authority : — His  life  by  Pauhis  Diaconus  (fl.  790),  and  a  larger  one  by 
John,  abbot  of  Gorze,  (d.  793),  published  in  Pertz,  Mon.  Sacr.  T.  x.  p. 

This  saint  was  a  native  of  Hasbain,  that  portion  of 
Brabant  which  surrounds  Louvain,  and  was  educated 
in  the  abbey  of  S.  Tron.  On  account  of  his  learning  and 
general  talents  he  was  made  chancellor  of  France  by 
Charles  Martel,  mayor  of  the  palace,  in  737.  Soon  after 
the  death  of  Charles,  he  was  elected  bishop  of  Metz,  in 
742.  In  754  he  was  sent  on  an  embassy  by  king  Pepin  to 
Astulph,  king  of  the  Lombards,  who  had  overrun  the 
North  of  Italy,  praying  him  not  to  commit  degradations  in 
Rome,  nor  to  force  the  Romans  to  desert  their  faith.  But 
the  embassy  proved  fruitless.  In  755  the  saint  organised  a 
regular  community  to  serve  as  chapter  to  his  cathedral, 
requiring  them  to  live  together  in  one  house,  and  observe 
certain  rules,  which  he  drew  up  in  thirty-four  articles. 
Amongst  other  rules,  he  required  his  canons  to  confess  at 
least  twice  in  the  year  to  the  bishop,  before  the  beginning 
of  Advent  and  Lent.  He  built  and  endowed  the  mona- 
steries of  S.  Peter,  of  Gorze,  and  of  Lorsch ;  and  died  on 
March  6th,  766.  He  was  buried  at  Gorze.  His  relics 
disappeared  at  the  Revolution. 



March  6.]  ,£   Colette.  97 

(a.d.  1447.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Her  festival  was  celebrated  with  proper  office  at 
her  convent  in  Ghent,  by  permission  of  Clement  VIII.  ;  and  Paul  V. 
extended  this  privilege  to  all  other  convents  of  her  order.  She  was  canon- 
ized by  Pius  VII.,  in  1807.  Her  life  was  written  by  Peter  a  Vallisus,  or  de 
Rheims,  for  many  years  her  confessor,  in  French,  and  it  was  translated  by 
Etienne  Julliac,  a  contemporary,  into  Latin  ;  and  an  epitome  of  her  life 
was  written  byjodocus  Clichthrove."] 

Colette  Boillet,  a  carpenter's  daughter,  was  born  at 
Corbie,  in  Picardy,  on  Jan.  13th,  1380.  Her  parents  gave 
her  at  the  font  the  name  of  Nicoletta,  and  this  has  been 
contracted  into  Colette,  the  name  by  which  she  is  now 
usually  known.  From  her  earliest  infancy  she  seems  to 
have  been  singled  out  for  a  special  work,  and  her  young 
soul,  from  the  first,  opened  to  divine  grace,  as  a  spring 
flower  to  the  sun.  At  the  age  of  seven,  she  yearned  for  a 
retired  life,  and  she  fashioned  for  herself  a  little  oratory  in 
the  back  premises  of  the  carpenter's  wood-yard,  into  which 
she  retreated  for  prayer,  and  there  spent  many  hours  in 
communion  with  God.  When  her  childish  companions 
sought  her  that  they  might  draw  her  into  their  sports  and 
pastimes,  she  hid  under  her  bed ;  but  when  anything  was 
really  wanted  of  her,  or  any  of  her  companions  were  in 
trouble,  she  was  at  once  at  hand  to  assist  and  con- 
sole. If  a  poor  person  came  to  the  door  whilst  the  family 
was  at  meals,  she  would  rise  and  give  him  her  share. 

In  1402,  at  the  age  of  twenty-two,  Colette  bade  farewell 
to  nature,  to  her  friends,  to  all  of  life  that  was  most  lovely, 
and  enclosed  herself  in  an  anchorite's  cell,  built  against  the 
walls  of  the  church  of  Corbie.  These  voluntary  recluses 
were  common  in  the  Middle  Ages.  Those  who  desired  to 
live  this  life  of  seclusion,  entered  living  into  these  tombs, 
which  were  built  up,  leaving  only  a  window  open,  through 

vol.  in.  7 


* — — * 

98  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  e. 

which  they  were  fed  and  communicated.  Throughout  all 
Picardy  the  fame  of  the  austerities  of  Colette  spread,  and 
many  sought  her  counsel  and  prayers.  Fearing  that  her 
humility  would  suffer,  for  three  years  she  maintained  a 
complete  silence,  only  opening  her  window  to  receive  the 
Holy  Sacrament.  At  length  the  call  came,  which  it  was 
impossible  for  her  to  resist.  Henry  de  la  Balm,  her 
confessor,  saw  in  a  dream  a  vine  full  of  leaves,  but  fruitless  ; 
then  came  Colette  and  pruned  the  vine,  and  it  began  to 
yield  abundantly.  Shortly  after  this  Colette  saw,  in  vision,  a 
great  tree  growing  in  her  cell,  laden  with  golden  fruit,  and 
numerous  saplings  springing  up  about  its  roots.  Fearing  a 
deception  of  Satan,  she  tore  up  the  young  plants,  but  there 
appeared  more  in  their  place.  Then  she  thought  God 
summoned  her  to  reform  the  Order  of  the  Poor  Clares. 
But  she  still  hesitated ;  whereupon  she  was  struck  blind  for 
three  days,  and  after  that  for  three  days  dumb.  She  hesi- 
tated no  longer,  but  came  forth  ready,  in  God's  name,  to 
undertake  her  mission.  She  left  her  cell  with  regret  • 
turning  at  the  door,  and  kissing  the  threshold,  she  sobbed 
forth,  "  Oh,  dear  little  home,  farewell !  farewell  my  joy 
and  repose  !  Oh,  if  men  knew  how  much  happiness  I  have 
enjoyed  in  thee,  they  would  desert  palaces  to  inhabit 
thy  narrow  walls." 

It  was  the  close  of  autumn  in  1406.  The  vines  were 
heavy  with  grapes,  the  trees  had  put  on  their  many-coloured 
autumnal  tints,  and  the  last  shocks  of  yellow  harvest  were 
being  gathered  in.  For  four  years,  in  her  seclusion,  she 
had  seen  nothing  of  all  this,  only  the  golden  light  playing 
on  the  wall  of  her  chamber,  sometimes  pale,  and  sometimes 
burning  as  flame,  and  the  blue  sky  and  the  drifting  clouds, 
now  dark  grey  with  winter  rains,  and  then  white  and  fleecy 
in  summer  light. 

Colette  had  written  all  that  she  had  deemed  expedient 

* — 

%, >£ 

March  6.J  6".     Colette.  99 

for  the  reformation  of  the  Franciscan  Order ;  she  placed 
her  writings  in  a  pouch  attached  to  her  girdle,  and  on  foot 
she  started  for  Nice,  where  Benedict  XIII.  resided,  on 
account  of  the  schism.  The  pope  received  Colette  with 
honour ;  she  made  profession  of  the  rule  of  S.  Clare  at  his 
feet,  and  he  appointed  her  superior-general  of  the  whole 
order ;  naming  Henry  de  la  Balm,  her  confessor,  as  assistant 
for  the  reformation  of  the  Friars  of  S.  Francis. 

This  young  and  feeble  woman  now  set  her  hand  with 
incredible  energy  to  the  accomplishment  of  her  task.  She 
traversed  France,  Savoy,  Germany,  and  Flanders,  meeting 
in  some  places  with  violent  opposition  as  a  crazy  fanatic, 
but  in  other  succeeding  in  establishing  a  reform.  The 
provinces  of  France  were  ravaged  by  war,  and  all  the  evil 
passions  of  wicked  men  were  let  loose ;  but  Colette  walked 
through  all  dangers,  relying  on  Divine  protection,  and  never 
relying  in  vain.  She  was  accused  of  heresy,  and  even  of 
unchastity,  but  she  was  not  crushed  by  slander,  despising 
reproach  as  she  had  defied  danger. 

In  1 410,  she  founded  a  convent  at  Besancpn  ;  in  1415, 
she  introduced  a  reform  into  the  convent  of  the  Cordeliers, 
at  Dole,  and  in  succession  into  nearly  all  the  convents  in 
Lorraine,  Champagne,  and  Picardy.  In  14 16,  she  founded 
a  house  of  her  order  at  Poligny,  at  the  foot  of  the  Jura,  and 
another  at  Auxonne.  "  I  am  dying  of  curiosity  to  see  this 
wonderful  Colette,  who  resuscitates  the  dead,"  wrote  the 
Duchess  of  Bourbon,  about  this  time.  For  the  fame  of  the 
miracles  and  labours  of  the  carpenter's  daughter  was  in 
every  mouth. 

In  1422,  Colette  started  for  Moulins  to  meet  the  duchess, 
and  to  found  there  a  religious  house.  The  Duchess  of 
Nevers  summoned  her  into  her  duchy,  and  she  obeyed  the 
summons.  It  was  on  her  way  to  Moulins  that  she  met 
another  maiden,  also  acting  under  a  special  call,  though  one 

* # 

* * 

ioo  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  6. 

of  a  very  different  nature.  One  maiden  was  called  to  wear 
cord  and  veil,  the  other  to  gird  the  sword  and  wear  the  casque. 
It  was  Joan  of  Arc,  then  on  her  way  with  Dunois  at  the 
head  of  an  army  to  besiege  Charitd-sur-Loire.  In  Auvergne, 
Colette  converted  Isabeau  de  Bourbon,  and  at  the  age  of 
nineteen  the  young  princess  exchanged  her  diamonds  for 
the  knotted  cord  of  S.  Clare. 

After  having  founded  the  convent  of  Le  Puy,  at  the 
request  of  Amadeus  VII.,  Colette  carried  her  reformation 
into  Savoy.  On  the  north  shore  of  the  Lake  of  Geneva, 
she  found  a  still  sweet  spot,  itself  silent  and  secluded  as  a 
monastery,  its  white  walls  reflected  in  the  deep  blue  of  the 
lake,  and  looking  out  on  a  range  of  snowy  mountains.  At 
Vevey  she  rested  to  look  around  her,  relax  her  weary  soul, 
and  breathe  in  the  soft  air,  sweet  from  the  fields  of 
narcissus.  But  God  had  not  yet  called  her  to  rest.  From 
all  sides  devotees  came  to  her, — the  Duchess  of  Valentinois, 
the  unfortunate  Jacques  de  Bourbon,  in  turn  jailor  and 
prisoner  of  his  wife,  Jeanne  of  Sicily,  with  his  children, 
who,  having  tasted  the  life  of  the  cloister,  found  it  was  so 
sweet,  that  they  abandoned  for  it  the  pleasures  and  am- 
bitions of  the  world.1 

After  having  spent  two  years  at  Vevey,  Colette  went  to 
Nozeroy,  to  the  princess  of  Orange,  and  remained  with 
her  till  1430.  Philip  the  Good,  Duke  of  Burgundy,  recalled 
Colette  to  Flanders,  where  she  founded  several  houses,  and 
glorified  God  by  many  miracles.  In  the  memoirs  of  Oliver 
de  la  Marche,  a  Burgundian  gentleman  of  this  time,  occurs 
the  following  notice  of  S.  Colette;  "En  celui  temps, 
re'gnoit  une  moult  sainte  et  devote  femme,  religieuse  de 
Sainte-Claire,  au  pays  de  Bourgoigne,  nomme'e  soeur 
Colette.     Cette  femme  allait  par  toute  la  chre'tiente',  menant 

1  Jacques  II.  of  Bourbon,  Count  of  la  Marche  and  de  Castres,  married  to  Jeanne 
Q.  of  Naples  and  Sicily,  was  imprisoned  by  his  wife,  but  escaped,  and  becoming  a 
third  Order  brother  of  S.  Francis,  at  Besancon,  died  there,  Sept.  24,  1428. 

* ~ — * 



March  6.] 

6".   Colette. 


moult  sainte  vie,  et  ddifiant  maisons  et  eglises  de  la  religion 
de  Saint  Francois  et  de  Sainte  Claire.  Et  ai  6t6  acertene', 
que,  par  son  pourchas  et  par  sa  peine,  elle  avait  e'difie'  de 
son  temps  trois  cent  quatre-vingts  eglises." 

It  would  seem  almost  as  if  Colette  had  a  natural  love  for 
mountains,  so  generally  do  we  find  her  returning  to  them, 
and  laying  at  their  feet  the  foundations  of  her  dearest  homes. 
Perhaps  the  mystery  of  their  blue-veined  valleys,  and  the 
wondrous  changes  wrought  by  the  sun  and  clouds  on  their 
sides,  filled  her  with  a  sense  of  love  and  awe.  But  it  was  not 
from  among  the  mountains  that  she  was  summoned  away. 
The  call  to  the  everlasting  hills  came  to  her  on  the  fiats  of 
Flanders,  in  the  city  of  Ghent.  There  she  died  on  March 
6th,  1447,  laying  herself  down  to  repose  as  gladly  as  the 
weary  labourer  in  harvest  time,  who  returns  to  his  home 
and  to  sleep  after  a  day  of  incessant  toil. 

When  the  Emperor  Joseph  II.  suppressed  many  religious 
houses  in  his  dominions,  in  1785,  the  Poor  Clares  of  Ghent 
took  up  the  body  of  S.  Colette,  and  traversing  France,  laid 
it  beneath  the  mountain  shadows  at  Poligny.  The  holy 
relics  were  secreted  at  the  time  of  the  French  Revolution, 
and  on  the  return  of  tranquillity,  they  were  placed  in  the 
parish  church ;  but  the  Poor  Clares  having  re-established 
themselves  at  Poligny,  the  bones  of  the  saint  were  restored 
to  them. 



102  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

March  7. 

SS.  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  Saturus,  and  Companions,  MM  in 

Africa,  A.D.  203. 
S.  Eubulus,  M.  at  Cczsarea  in  Palestine,  a.d.  308. 
S.  Paul  the  Simple,  H.  in  the  Thebaid,  a,th  cent. 
S.  Gaudiosus,  B.  of  Brescia,  circ.  a.d.  445. 
S.  Eastehwin,  Ab.  rfWearmouth,  a.d.  785.     (See  S.  Benedict 

Biscop,  Jan.  \ith;  p.  172.) 
S.  Thomas  Aquinas,  Doct.,  O.P.,  at  Fossa  Nuova,  a.d.  1274. 

(a.d.    203.) 

[Roman  and  all  Western  Martyrologies  on  this  day,  but  by  the  Greeks 
on  March  1st.  Authorities  : — The  genuine  Acts  of  these  martyrs,  and  a 
sermon  by  S.  Augustine  of  Hippo  on  them.  The  names  of  Perpetua 
and  Felicitas  occur  in  the  Canon  of  the  Mass.  The  first  part  of  the  Acts 
was  written  by  S.  Perpetua  herself,  and  reaches  to  the  eve  of  her  martyr- 
dom. S.  Saturus  then  took  the  pen,  and  added  the  account  of  his  vision  ; 
and  when  he  had  gained  his  crown,  an  eye-witness  of  their  passion  closed  the 
account.  Tertullian  quotes  these  Acts  in  his  Book  De  Anima,  c.  55  ;  and 
S.  Augustine  in  his  Sermons,  280,  283,  and  294.  They  were  anciently  read 
publicly  in  the  churches  of  Africa.] 

VIOLENT   persecution  broke  out  under  the 
Emperor  Severus,  in  202.  It  reached  Africa  the 
following   year ;    when,  by  order    of    Minutius 
Timinianus,   or  Firminianus,  five   catechumens 
were  apprehended  at  Carthage  for  the  faith ;  namely,  Revo- 
catus,  and  his  fellow-slave  Felicitas,  Saturninus,  and  Secun- 
dums, and  Vivia  Perpetua.       Felicitas  was  expecting  her 
confinement ;  and  Perpetua  had  an  infant  at  her  breast,  was 
of  a  good  family,  twenty-two  years  of  age,   and  married  to 
a  person  of  quality  in  the  city.     She  had  a  father,  a  mother, 
and  two  brothers  ;  the  third,   Dinocrates,  died  about  seven 
years  old.       These  five   martyrs  were  joined   by  Saturus, 
probably  brother  to  Saturninus,  and  who  seems  to  have  been 

* — — * 

* _— ^____ * 

March  7>]        .SkS1.  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  &c.  103 

their  instructor :  he  underwent  a  voluntary  imprisonment, 
because  he  would  not  abandon  them.     The  father  of  S. 
Perpetua,   who  was  a  Pagan,  and  advanced  in  years,  loved 
her  more  than   all  his  other  children.      Her  mother  was 
probably  a  Christian,  as  was  one  of  her  brothers,  the  other 
a  catechumen.    The  martyrs,  for  some  days  before  they  were 
committed  to  prison,  were  kept  under  a  strong  guard  in  a 
private  house :    and  the  account  Perpetua  gives  of   their 
sufferings  to  the  eve  of  their  death,  is  as  follows  :    "  We 
were  in  the  hands  of  our  persecutors,  when  my  father,  out 
of  the  affection  he  bore  me,  made  new  efforts  to  shake  my 
resolution.     I  said  to  him,  '  Can  that  vessel,  which  you  see, 
change  its  name  ?'     He  said,  '  No.'     I  replied,   '  Nor  can  I 
call  myself  any  other  than  I  am,  a  Christian.'      At  that 
word  my  father  in  a  rage  fell  upon  me,  as  if  he  would  have 
pulled  out  my  eyes,  and  beat  me  ;  but  went  away  in  confu- 
sion, seeing  me  invincible.     After  this  we  enjoyed  a  little 
repose,  and  in  that  interval  received  baptism.       The  Holy 
Ghost,  on  our  coming  out  of  the  water,  inspired  me  to  pray 
for  nothing  but  patience  under  bodily  sufferings.     A  few 
days  after  this  we  were  put  into  prison  ;  I  was  shocked  at 
the  horror  and  darkness  of  the  place ;  for  till  then  I  knew 
not  what  such  sort  of  places  were.     We  suffered  much  that 
day,   chiefly  on  account  of  the  great  heat  caused  by  the 
crowd,  and  the  ill-treatment  we  met  with  from  the  soldiers. 
I  was,  moreover,  tortured  with  concern,  because  I  had  not 
my  baby  with  me.       But  the  deacons,  Tertius  and  Pom- 
ponius,  who  assisted  us,  obtained,  by  money,  that  we  might 
pass  some  hours  in  a  more  commodious  part  of  the  prison, 
to  refresh  ourselves.     My  infant  was  then  brought  to  me 
almost  famished,  and  I  gave  it  the  breast.     I  recommended 
him  afterward  carefully  to  my  mother,  and  encouraged  my 
brother;  but  was  much  afflicted  to  see  their  concern  for 
me.     After  a  few  days  my  sorrow  was  changed  into  comfort, 



* . __,£ 

104  Lives  of  tJie  Saints.  [March  7. 

and  my  prison  itself  seemed  agreeable.  One  day  my 
brother  said  to  me,  '  Sister,  I  am  persuaded  that  you  are  a 
special  favourite  of  heaven ;  pray  to  God  to  reveal  to  you 
whether  this  imprisonment  will  end  in  martyrdom,  or  not. 
I,  knowing  God  gave  me  daily  tokens  of  His  goodness, 
answered,  full  of  confidence,  that  I  would  inform  him  on 
the  morrow.  I  therefore  asked  that  favour  of  God,  and 
had  this  vision.  I  saw  a  golden  ladder,  which  reached 
from  earth  to  heaven ;  but  so  narrow  that  only  one  could 
mount  it  at  a  time.  To  the  two  sides  were  fastened  all  sorts 
of  iron  instruments,  swords,  lances,  hooks,  and  knives ;  so 
that  if  any  one  went  up  carelessly,  he  was  in  great  danger 
of  having  his  flesh  torn.  At  the  foot  of  the  ladder  lay  a 
dragon  of  enormous  size,  who  kept  guard  to  turn  back  and 
terrify  those  that  endeavoured  to  mount  it.  The  first  that 
went  up  was  Saturus,  who  was  not  apprehended  with  us, 
but  voluntarily  surrendered  himself  afterward  on  our  ac- 
count :  when  he  had  reached  the  top  of  the  ladder,  he 
turned  towards  me,  and  said,  '  Perpetua,  I  wait  for  you ; 
but  take  care  lest  the  dragon  bite  you.'  I  answered,  '  In 
the  name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  he  shall  not  hurt  me/ 
Then  the  dragon,  as  if  afraid  of  me,  gently  lifted  his  head 
from  under  the  ladder,  and  I,  having  got  upon  the  first  step, 
set  my  foot  upon  his  head.  Thus  I  mounted  to  the  top, 
and  there  I  saw  an  extensive  garden,  and  in  the  middle  of 
it  a  tall  man  sitting  down  dressed  like  a  shepherd,  having 
white  hair.  He  was  milking  his  sheep,  surrounded  with 
many  thousands  of  persons  clad  in  white.  He  called  me 
by  my  name,  bid  me  welcome,  and  gave  me  some  curds 
made  of  the  milk  which  he  had  drawn :  I  put  my  hands 
together,  and  took  and  ate  them ;  and  all  that  were  present 
said  aloud,  Amen.  The  noise  awakened  me,  chewing  some- 
thing very  sweet.  As  soon  as  I  had  related  this  vision  to  my 
brother,  we  both  concluded  that  we  should  suffer  death. 




March,. i        SS.  Perpetua,  Felicitasy  &c.  105 

"After  some  days,  a  rumour  having  got  about  that 
we  were  to  be  examined,  my  father  came  from  the 
city  to  the  prison,  overwhelmed  with  grief.  '  Daughter, 
said  he,  'have  pity  on  my  grey  hairs,  if  I  yet  deserve 
to  be  called  your  father;  if  I  have  brought  you  up.  I 
pray  you  consider  that  my  love  of  you  made  me  always  pre- 
fer you  to  your  brothers,  and  make  me  not  now  a  reproach 
to  mankind.  Have  respect  for  your  mother  and  your 
aunt;  have  compassion  on  your  child  that  cannot  sur- 
vive you ;  lay  aside  this  obstinacy,  lest  you  ruin  us  all ; 
for  not  one  of  us  will  dare  open  his  lips  any  more  if  mis- 
fortune befall  you.'  He  took  me  by  the  hands  at  the  same 
time,  and  kissed  them ;  he  threw  himself  at  my  feet  in  tears. 
I  confess,  I  was  pierced  with  sorrow  when  I  considered 
that  my  father  was  the  only  person  of  our  family  that  would 
not  rejoice  at  my  martyrdom.  I  endeavoured  to  comfort 
him,  saying,  '  Father,  grieve  not ;  nothing  will  happen  but 
what  pleases  God  ;  for  we  are  not  at  our  own  disposal.' 
He  then  departed,  much  concerned.  Next  day,  whilst  we 
were  at  dinner,  a  person  came  in  suddenly  to  summon 
us  to  examination.  The  report  of  this  soon  brought  a  vast 
crowd  of  people  into  the  audience  chamber.  We  were 
placed  on  a  sort  of  scaffold  before  the  judge,  Hilarian, 
procurator  of  the  province,  the  proconsul  having  lately  died. 
All  who  were  questioned  before  me  boldly  confessed  Jesus 
Christ  When  it  came  to  my  turn,  my  father  stood  forward, 
holding  up  my  infant  He  drew  me  a  little  aside,  conjuring 
me  in  the  most  tender  manner  not  to  be  insensible  to  the 
misery  I  should  bring  on  that  innocent  creature,  to  which  I 
had  given  life.  The  president  Hilarian  joined  with  my 
father,  and  said,  '  What !  will  neither  the  gray  hairs  of  a 
father,  nor  the  tender  innocence  of  a  child,  move  you? 
Sacrifice  for  the  prosperity  of  the  emperors.'  I  replied,  '  I 
will  not  do  it'     '  Are  you  then  a  Christian,'  said  Hilarian. 

* — — — £ 

* * 

106  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  7. 

I  answered,  '  Yes,  I  am.'  As  my  father  attempted  to  draw 
me  from  the  scaffold,  Hilarian  commanded  him  to  be 
beaten  off,  and  he  had  a  blow  given  him  with  a  stick,  which 
I  felt  as  much  as  if  I  had  been  struck  myself,  so  much  was 
I  grieved  to  see  my  father  thus  treated  in  his  old  age. 
Then  the  judge  pronounced  our  sentence,  by  which  we 
were  all  condemned  to  be  exposed  to  wild  beasts.  We 
then  joyfully  returned  to  our  prison  ;  and  as  my  infant  was 
not  yet  weaned,  I  immediately  sent  Pomponius  the 
deacon,  to  demand  him  of  my  father,  but  he  refused  to 
send  him.  And  God  so  ordered  it,  that  the  child  no 
longer  required  to  suck,  nor  did  my  milk  incommode  me." 
Secundulus,  being  no  more  mentioned,  seems  to  have  died 
in  prison  before  this  interrogatory.  Before  Hilarian  pro- 
nounced sentence,  he  had  caused  Saturus,  Saturninus,  and 
Revocatus  to  be  scourged ;  and  Perpetua  and  Felicitas  to 
be  beaten  on  the  face.  They  were  reserved  for  the  shows 
which  were  to  be  exhibited  for  the  soldiers  in  the  camp,  on 
the  festival  of  Geta,  who  had  been  made  Caesar  four  years 
before,  by  his  father  Severus,  when  his  brother  Caracalla 
was  created  Augustus. 

S.  Perpetua  relates  another  vision  with  which  she  was 
favoured,  as  follows  :  "  A  few  days  after  receiving  sentence, 
when  we  were  all  together  in  prayer,  I  happened  to  name 
Dinocrates,  at  which  I  was  astonished,  because  I  had  not 
before  had  him  in  my  thoughts ;  and  I  that  moment  knew 
that  I  ought  to  pray  for  him.  This  I  began  to  do  with 
great  fervour  before  God;  and  the  same  night  I  had  the 
following  vision  :  I  saw  Dinocrates  coming  out  of  a  dark 
place,  where  there  were  many  others,  exceedingly  hot  and 
thirsty;  his  face  was  dirty,  his  complexion  pale,  with  the 
ulcer  in  his  face  of  which  he  had  died  at  seven  years  of 
age.  and  it  was  for  him  that  I  had  prayed.  There  seemed 
a  great  distance  between  him  and  me,  so  that  it  was  im- 

* % 


March  7.]        .SVS1.  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  &c.  107 

possible  for  us  to  come  to  each  other.  Near  him  stood  a 
vessel  full  of  water :  he  attempted  to  drink,  but  could  not 
reach  it.  This  mightily  grieved  me,  and  I  awoke.  By 
this  I  knew  my  brother  was  in  pain,  but  I  trusted  I  could 
relieve  him  by  prayer  :  so  I  began  to  pray  for  him,  beseech- 
ing God  with  tears,  day  and  night,  that  he  would  grant  me 
my  request ;  and  I  continued  doing  this  till  we  were  re- 
moved to  the  camp  prison  :  being  destined  for  a  public 
show  on  the  festival  of  the  Caesar  Geta.  The  day  we  were  in 
the  stocks1  I  had  this  vision ;  I  saw  the  place,  which  I  had 
beheld  dark  before,  now  luminous;  and  Dinocrates,  with 
his  body  very  clean  and  well  clad,  refreshing  himself;  and 
in  the  place  of  his  wound  was  a  scar  only.  I  awoke,  and 
knew  he  was  relieved  from  his  pain.3 

"  Some  days  after,  Pudens,  the  officer  who  commanded 
the  guards  of  the  prison,  seeing  that  God  favoured  us  with 
many  gifts,  had  a  great  esteem  of  us,  and  admitted  many 
people  to  visit  us,  for  our  mutual  comfort.  On  the  day  of 
the  public  shows,  my  father  came  overwhelmed  with  sorrow. 
He  tore  his  beard,  threw  himself  on  the  ground,  cursed  his 
years,  and  said  enough  to  move  any  creature ;  and  I  was 
ready  to  die  with  sorrow  to  see  my  father  in  so  deplorable 
a  condition.  On  the  eve  of  the  shows  I  was  favoured  with 
the  following  vision.  The  deacon  Pomponius,  methought, 
knocked  very  hard  at  the  prison  door,  which  I  opened  to 
him.  He  was  clothed  with  a  white  robe,  embroidered  with 
innumerable    pomegranates    of   gold.       He    said    to   me, 

'  These  stocks,  called  Ncrvus,  were  a  wooden  machine  with  many  holes,  in 
which  the  prisoners'  feet  were  fastened  and  stretched  to  great  distances,  as  to  the 
fourth  or  fifth  holes,  for  the  increase  of  their  torments.  S.  Perpetua  remarks,  they 
were  chained,  and  also  set  in  this  engine  during  their  stay  in  the  camp-prison, 
which  seems  to  have  been  several  days,  in  expectation  of  the  day  of  the  public 

*  it  is  evident  from  the  visions  S.  Perpetua  had  of  her  little  brother,  that  the 
Church,  at  that  early  age,  believed  the  doctrine  of  Purgatory,  and  prayed  for  the 
faithful  departed. 


* * 

108  Lives  of  the  Saints.  iMarch?. 

'  Perpetua,  we  wait  for  thee,  come  along.'  He  then  took 
me  by  the  hand  and  led  me  through  very  rough  places  into 
the  middle  of  the  amphitheatre,  and  said,  '  Fear  not  'And, 
leaving  me,  said  again,  '  I  will  be  with  thee  in  a  moment, 
and  bear  a  part  with  thee  in  thy  pains.'  I  was  wondering 
the  beasts  were  not  let  out  against  us,  when  there  appeared 
a  very  ill-favoured  negro,  who  came  to  encounter  me  with 
others.  But  another  beautiful  troop  of  young  men  declared 
for  me,  and  anointed  me  with  oil  for  the  combat.  Then 
appeared  a  man  of  a  great  stature,  in  rich  apparel,  like  the 
master  of  the  gladiators,  having  a  wand  in  one  hand,  and  in 
the  other  a  green  bough  on  which  hung  golden  apples. 
Having  ordered  silence,  he  said  that  the  bough  should  be 
my  prize,  if  I  vanquished  the  negro :  but  that  if  he  con- 
quered me,  he  would  kill  me  with  a  sword.  After  a  long 
and  obstinate  engagement,  I  threw  the  negro  on  his  face, 
and  trod  upon  his  head.  The  people  applauded  my  victory 
loudly.  I  then  approached  the  master  of  the  amphi- 
theatre, who  gave  me  the  bough  with  a  kiss,  and  said, 
'  Peace  be  with  thee,  my  daughter.'  After  this  I  awoke, 
and  found  that  I  was  not  to  combat  with  wild  beasts  so 
much  as  with  devils."  Here  ends  the  relation  of  S. 

S.  Saturus  had  also  a  vision,  which  he  wrote  down  himself. 
He  and  his  companions  were  conducted  by  a  bright  angel 
into  a  most  delightful  garden,  in  which  they  met  some  holy 
martyrs  lately  dead,  namely  Jocundus,  Saturninus,  and 
Artaxius,  who  had  been  burned  alive  for  the  faith,  and 
Quintus,  who  had  died  in  prison.  They  inquired  after  other 
martyrs  of  their  acquaintance,  and  were  conducted  into 
a  most  stately  palace,  shining  like  the  sun ;  and  in  it  saw  the 
king  of  this  most  glorious  place  surrounded  by  his  happy 
subjects,  and  heard  the  voice  of  a  great  multitude  crying, 
"Holy,   holy,   holy."     Saturus,  turning  to   Perpetua,   said, 

— * 


March  7.]        .SVS".  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  &c.  1 09 

"  Thou  hast  here  what  thou  didst  desire."  She  replied,  "  God 
be  praised,  I  have  more  joy  here  than  ever  I  had  in  the 
flesh."  He  adds,  that  on  going  out  of  the  garden  they  found 
before  the  gate,  on  the  right  hand,  the  bishop  of  Carthage, 
Optatus,  and  on  the  left,  Aspasius,  priest  of  the  same 
church,  both  of  them  alone  and  sorrowful.  They  fell  at  the 
martyrs'  feet,  and  begged  that  they  would  reconcile  them 
together,  for  a  dissension  had  happened  between  them. 
The  martyrs  embraced  them,  saying,  "Art  not  thou  our 
bishop,  and  thou  a  priest  of  our  Lord  ?  It  is  our  duty  to 
prostrate  ourselves  before  you."  Perpetua  was  discoursing 
with  them ;  but  certain  angels  came  and  drove  away 
Optatus  and  Aspasius  ;  and  bade  them  not  to  disturb  the 
martyrs,  but  be  reconciled  to  each  other.  The  bishop, 
Optatus,  was  also  charged  to  heal  the  divisions  that  reigned 
in  his  church.  The  angels  after  these  reprimands  seemed 
ready  to  shut  the  gates  of  the  garden.  "  Here,"  says  he, 
"  we  saw  many  of  our  brethren  and  martyrs  likewise.  We 
were  fed  with  an  ineffable  odour,  which  delighted  and 
satisfied  us."  Such  was  the  vision  of  Saturus.  The  rest  of 
the  Acts  were  added  by  an  eye-witness.  God  had  called 
to  himself  Secundulus  in  prison.  Felicitas  was  eight  months 
gone  with  child,  and  as  the  day  of  the  shows  approached, 
she  was  inconsolable  lest  she  should  not  be  confined  before 
then  ;  fearing  that  her  martyrdom  would  be  deferred  on 
that  account,  because  women  with  child  were  not  allowed  to 
be  executed,  before  they  were  delivered  :  the  rest  also  were 
sensibly  afflicted  on  their  part  to  leave  her  behind.  There- 
fore they  unanimously  joined  in  prayer  to  obtain  of  God 
that  she  might  be  delivered  before  the  day  of  the  shows. 
Scarce  had  they  finished  their  prayer,  when  Felicitas  found 
herself  in  labour.  She  cried  out  under  the  violence  of  her 
pain  ;  then  one  of  the  guards  asked  her,  if  she  could  not 
bear  the  throes  of  childbirth  without  crying  out,  what  she 



no  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

would  do  when  exposed  to  the  wild  beasts.  She  answered, 
"  It  is  I  myself  that  am  enduring  these  pangs  now ;  but 
then  there  will  be  another  with  me  who  will  suffer  for  me, 
because  I  shall  suffer  for  Him."  She  was  then  delivered 
of  a  daughter,  which  a  certain  Christian  woman  took  care 
of,  and  brought  up  as  her  own  child.  Pudens,  the  keeper 
of  the  prison,  having  been  already  converted,  secretly 
did  them  all  the  good  offices  in  his  power.  The  day  before 
they  suffered  they  were  given,  according  to  custom,  their 
last  meal,  which  was  called  a  free  supper,  and  they  ate  in 
public.  Their  chamber  was  full  of  people,  with  whom  they 
talked,  threatening  them  with  the  judgments  of  God,  and 
extolling  the  happiness  of  their  own  sufferings.  Saturus, 
smiling  at  the  curiosity  of  those  that  came  to  see  them,  said 
to  them,  "  Will  not  to-morrow  suffice  to  satisfy  your  in- 
human curiosity  ?  However  you  may  seem  now  to  pity  us, 
to-morrow  you  will  clap  your  hands  at  our  death,  and  ap- 
plaud our  murderers.  But  observe  well  our  faces,  that  you 
may  know  them  again  at  that  terrible  day  when  all  men 
shall  be  judged."  They  spoke  with  such  courage  and  intre- 
pidity that  they  astonished  the  infidels,  and  occasioned  the 
conversion  of  several  among  them.  The  day  of  their 
triumph  having  come,  they  went  out  of  the  prison  to  the 
amphitheatre  full  of  joy.  Perpetua  walked  with  a  com- 
posed countenance  and  easy  pace,  with  her  eyes  modesdy 
cast  down  ;  Felicitas  went  with  her,  following  the  men,  not 
able  to  contain  her  joy.  When  they  came  to  the  gate  of 
the  amphitheatre,  the  guards  would  have  given  them,  ac- 
cording to  custom,  the  superstitious  habits  with  which  they 
adorned  such  as  appeared  at  these  sights.  For  the  men,  a 
red  mantle,  which  was  the  habit  of  the  priests  of  Saturn  j 
for  the  women,  a  little  fillet  round  the  head,  by  which  the 
priestesses  of  Ceres  were  known.  The  martyrs  rejected 
those  idolatrous  vestments ;   and,  by  the  mouth  of  Perpetua, 

* £ 

March  7.]        .SVSl  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  &c.  1 1 1 

said  they  came  thither  of  their  own  accord,  on  the  promise 
made  them  that  they  should  not  be  forced  to  anything  con- 
trary to  their  religion.  The  tribune  then  consented  that 
they  should  appear  in  the  amphitheatre  habited  as  they  were. 
Perpetua  sang,  as  being  already  victorious ;  Revocatus, 
Saturninus,  and  Saturus  threatened  the  people  that  beheld 
them  with  the  judgments  of  God :  and  as  they  passed  be- 
fore the  balcony  of  Hilarian,  they  said  to  him,  "Thou  judgest 
us  in  this  world,  but  God  will  judge  thee  in  the  next."  The ' 
people,  enraged  at  their  boldness,  begged  that  they  might 
be  scourged,  and  this  was  granted.  They  accordingly  passed 
before  the  Venatores,1  or  hunters,  each  of  whom  gave  them 
a  lash.  They  rejoiced  exceedingly  in  being  thought  worthy 
to  resemble  our  Saviour  in  his  sufferings.  God  granted  to 
each  of  them  the  death  they  desired ;  for  when  they  had 
discoursed  together  about  what  kind  of  martyrdom  would 
be  agreeable  to  each,  Saturninus  declared  that  he  should 
prefer  to  be  exposed  to  beasts  of  several  sorts,  in  order  that 
his  sufferings  might  be  aggravated.  Accordingly,  he  and 
Revocatus,  after  having  been  attacked  by  a  leopardj  were 
also  assaulted  by  a  bear.  Saturus  dreaded  nothing  so  much 
as  a  bear,  and  therefore  hoped  a  leopard  would  despatch 
him  at  once  with  his  teeth.  He  was  then  exposed  to  a 
wild  boar,  but  the  beast  turned  upon  his  keeper,  who  re- 
ceived such  a  wound  from  him,  that  he  died  in  a  few  days 
after,  and  Saturus  was  only  dragged  along  by  him.  Then 
they  tied  the  martyr  near  a  bear,  but  that  beast  came  not 
out  of  his  lodge,  so  that  Saturus,  being  sound  and  not  hurt, 
was  called  upon  for  a  second  encounter.  This  gave  him  an 
opportunity  of  speaking  to  Pudens,  the  gaoler  that  had  been 
converted.     The  martyr  encouraged  him  to  constancy  in 

1  Pro  online  venatorum.  Venatores  is  the  name  given  to  those  that  were  armed 
to  encounter  the  beasts,  who  put  themselves  in  ranks,  with  whips  in  their  hands, 
and  each  of  them  gave  a  lash  to  the  Bestiarii,  or  those  condemned  to  the  beasts, 
whom  they  obliged  to  pass  naked  before  them  in  the  middle  of  the  pit  or  arena. 

* * 

* * 

H2  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 7. 

the  faith,  and  said  to  him,  "Thou  seest  I  have  not  yet  been 
hurt  by  any  beast,  as  I  desired  and  foretold  :  believe  then 
stedfastly  in  Christ ;  I  am  going  where  thou  wilt  see  a  leopard 
with  one  bite  take  away  my  life."  It  happened  so,  for  a 
leopard  being  let  out  upon  him,  sprang  upon  him,  and  in  a 
moment  he  was  deluged  with  blood,  whereupon  the  people 
jeering,  cried  out,  "  He  is  well  baptized."  The  martyr  said 
to  Pudens,  "  Go,  remember  my  faith,  and  let  our  sufferings 
rather  strengthen  than  trouble  thee.  Give  me  the  ring  thou 
hast  on  thy  finger."  Saturus,  having  dipped  it  in  his  wound 
gave  it  him  back  to  keep  as  a  pledge  to  animate  him  to 
steadfastness  in  his  faith,  and  soon  after,  fell  down  dead. 
Thus  he  went  first  to  glory,  to  wait  for  Perpetua,  according 
to  her  vision. 

In  the  mean  time,  Perpetua  and  Felicitas  had  been  ex- 
posed to  a  wild  cow ;  Perpetua  and  Felicitas  were  the  first 
attacked,  and  the  cow  having  tossed  the  former,  she  fell  on  her 
back.  Then  putting  herself  in  a  sitting  posture,  and  per- 
ceiving her  clothes  were  torn,  she  gathered  them  about  her 
in  the  best  manner  she  could,  to  cover  herself,  thinking 
more  of  decency  than  her  sufferings.1  Getting  up,  not  to 
seem  disconsolate,  she  tied  up  her  hair,  which  was  fallen 
loose,  and  perceiving  Felicitas  on  the  ground  much  hurt  by 
a  toss  of  the  cow,  she  helped  her  to  rise.  They  stood  to- 
gether, expecting  another  assault  from  the  beasts,  but  the 
people  crying  out  that  it  was  enough,  they  were  led  to  the 
gate  Sanevivaria,  where  those  that  were  not  killed  by  the 
beasts  were  despatched  at  the  end  of  the  shows  by  the 
confectores.  Perpetua  was  here  received  by  Rusticus,  a 
catechumen.  She  seemed  as  if  just  returning  out  of  a  long 
ecstasy,  and  asked  when  she  was  to  fight  the  wild  cow. 
When  told  what  had  passed,  she  could  not  believe  it  till 

1Does  not  tliis  remind  the  classic  scholar  of  the  description  of  the  death  of 
Polyxena,  hy  Talthybius,  in  the  Hecuba,  "  She  even  in  death  showed  much  care 
to  fall  decently." 

* « 

* — * 

March  ?.j       .S6*.  Perpetua,  Felicitas,  &c.  113 

she  saw  on  her  body  and  clothes  the  marks  of  what  she  had 
suffered.  She  called  for  her  brother,  and  said  to  him  and 
Rusticus,  "  Continue  firm  in  the  faith,  love  one  another, 
and  be  not  distressed  at  our  sufferings."  All  the  martyrs 
were  now  brought  to  the  place  of  their  butchery.  But  the 
people,  not  yet  satisfied  with  beholding  blood,  cried  out  to 
have  them  led  into  the  middle  of  the  ampitheatre,  that  they 
might  have  the  pleasure  of  seeing  them  receive  the  last 
blow.  Upon  this,  some  of  the  martyrs  rose  up,  and  having 
given  one  another  the  kiss  of  peace,  went  of  their  own 
accord  into  the  arena;  others  were  despatched  without 
speaking,  or  stirring  out  of  the  places  they  were  in.  S.  Per- 
petua  fell  into  the  hands  of  a  very  timorous  and  unskilful 
apprentice  of  the  gladiators,  who,  with  a  trembling  hand, 
gave  her  many  slight  wounds,  which  made  her  languish  a 
long  time.  Thus,  says  S.  Augustine,  did  two  women, 
amidst  fierce  beasts  and  the  swords  of  gladiators,  vanquish 
the  devil  and  all  his  fury.  The  day  of  their  martyrdom  was 
the  7th  of  March,  as  it  is  marked  in  the  most  ancient 
martyrologies,  and  in  a  Roman  Martyrology  as  old  as  the 
year  554.  S.  Prosper  says  they  suffered  at  Carthage, 
which  agrees  with  all  the  circumstances.  Their  bodies 
were  preserved  in  the  great  church  of  Carthage,  in  the  5th 
century,  as  Victor  of  Utica  relates.  The  body  of  S.  Per- 
petua  is  said  to  be  preserved  at  Bologna,  in  the  Church  of 
the  Franciscians,  but  it  is  very  questionable  whether  it  is 
that  of  the  S.  Perpetua  of  Carthage,  whose  passion  has  just 
been  narrated. 

vol.  in.                                                                         8 
* ,3, 

£, — * 

U4  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

S.  EUBULUS,  M.  , 

(a.d.    308.) 

[By  the  Greeks  on  Feb.  3rd,  in  conjunction  with  S.  Adrian  ;  but  by  tlk- 
Roman  Martyrology  on  this  day,  and  S.  Adrian  on  March  5th.  Authority  : 
— Eusebius,  Hist.  Eccl.  lib.  viii.,  c.  11.] 

In  the  persecution  in  Palestine,  carried  out  under  the 
ferocious  governor  Firmilian,  Adrian  and  Eubulus,  natives 
of  Mangansea,  suffered.  They  came  to  Csesarea,  and  were 
asked  the  cause  of  their  coming,  as  they  entered  the  gates 
of  the  city.  They  confessed  that  they  had  come  to  see  and 
minister  to  the  martyrs  of  Jesus  Christ.  They  were  at  once 
apprehended  and  brought  before  Firmilian.  He  ordered 
them  to  be  scourged  and  torn  with  hooks,  and  then  to  be 
devoured  by  the  beasts.  After  the  lapse  of  two  days,  on 
the  third  of  the  nones  of  March,  Adrian  was  cast  before  a 
lion,  and  afterwards  slain  with  the  sword.  Eubulus  was  also 
reserved  to  the  nones  of  March,  and  was  then  cast  to  the 
beasts.  He  was  the  last  to  suffer  for  the  faith  at  Caesarea 
in  that  persecution. 


(4TH    CENT.) 

[Greek  Mencea  and  Roman  Martyrology  on  the  same  day.  But  some 
Latin  Martyrologies  on  Dec.  i8th,  others  on  Jan.  nth.  Authorities:— 
Palladius,  in  his  Hist.  Lausiaca  ;  Ruffinus,  in  his  Lives  of  the  Fathers  of 
the  Desert  ;  and  Sozomen,  Hist.  Eccles.,  lib.  i.,  c.  13.] 

Paul  the  Simple  was  one  of  the  first  disciples  of  S. 
Antony.  He  did  not  embrace  the  religious  life  till  he  was 
sixty,  and  then  it  was  in  consequence  of  the  bad  conduct 
of  his  wife.  He  had  been  a  labourer  in  a  village  of  the 
Thebaid,  and  was  very  ignorant.  He  came  to  S.  Antony, 
but  the  patriarch  of  hermits  refused  to  admit  him,  thinking 

* * 

ȣ_ * 

March?.]  S.  Paul  the  Simple.  115 

him  too  old  to  adopt  the  monastic  life.  Paul,  however,  re- 
mained three  days  and  nights  outside  the  cell  of  Antony, 
and  would  not  leave.  Antony  then  came  forth,  and  found 
that  the  man  had  no  food ;  he,  therefore,  received  him  for 
a  while,  hoping  to  disgust  him  with  the  life  of  a  hermit  by 
the  severity  of  his  discipline.  He  set  Paul  to  pray  outside 
his  door,  and  told  him  not  to  desist  till  he  was  released. 
The  simple  old  labourer  obeyed,  and  Antony  observed  him, 
unseen,  praying  with  the  blazing  sun  shining  down  on  his 
head  at  noon-day,  and  the  moon  looking  on  him  at  night, 
as  rigid  and  immoveable  as  one  of  the  date  palms  of  the 
desert  He  then  brought  him  into  his  cave,  and  gave  him 
some  platting  to  do.  When  it  was  accomplished  he  rebuked 
Paul  for  his  having  doing  it  badly,  and  bade  him  undo  his 
work  again.  The  postulant  did  as  ordered  without  a  mur- 
mur. Then  Antony  brought  bread,  and  set  the  table  in 
order  for  supper,  and  called  the  hungry  Paul  to  it ;  then  he 
said,  "  Before  we  eat,  let  us  recite  twelve  psalms  and  twelve 
prayers,"  and  he  did  so ;  and  when  the  psalms  and  prayers 
were  done,  Antony  said,  "  We  have  looked  on  the  bread, 
that  will  suffice  for  supper ;  now  let  us  retire  to  rest."  Yet 
Paul  murmured  not ;  so  Antony  saw  that  he  was  qualified 
to  be  a  monk. 

Once,  as  Antony  and  some  of  his  guests  were  discoursing 
on  spiritual  matters,  Paul  asked  very  simply,  "  Were  the 
prophets  before  Jesus  Christ,  or  Jesus  Christ  before  the 
prophets?"  Then  Antony  reddened,  and  bade  him  keep 
in  the  background,  and  hold  his  tongue.  Now  Paul  at  once 
obeyed,  and  remained  for  some  time  silent,  and  out  of 
sight,  and  they  told  Antony  of  it  Then  he  said,  "  Oh,  my 
brethren  !  learn  from  this  man  what  our  obedience  towards 
God  ought  to  be.  If  I  say  anything,  he  does  it  instantly 
and  cheerfully,  and  we — do  we  thus  behave  towards  our 

* * 

* — (J, 

1 1 6  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March;. 


(A.D.    1274.) 

[The  oldest  notices  of  S.  Thomas  are  found  in  Gerard  de  Fracheto ;  in 
Thos.  Cantipratensis ;  Stephen  de  Salanacho  ;  Tocco,  a  Dominican,  who 
had  seen  S.  Thomas,  and  heard  him  preach,  left  an  account  of  his  life  and 
miracles,  this  work  formed  the  basis  of  the  labours  of  the  Inquisition  into 
our  saint's  miracles,  held  in  1319.  This,  and  the  bull  of  his  canonization, 
issued  by  John  XXII.,  in  1323,  is  the  foundation  of  the  first  part  of  Guido's 
life  and  acts  of  S.  Thomas  ;  the  latter  part  contains  the  miracles  substan- 
tiated at  the  second  Inquisition,  or  those  told  on  trustworthy  authority. 
There  are  many  other  lives,  as  also  histories  of  the  translations  of  his  body. 
John  XXII.  ordered  his  festival  to  be  kept  as  that  of  a  confessor,  on  March 
7th  ;  Pius  V.,  in  1567,  ordered  it  to  be  honoured  in  the  same  manner  as 
were  the  feasts  of  the  Four  Doctors  of  the  Church.] 

"  The  age  of  S.  Thomas  Aquinas,"  says  Bareille,  "  was 
that  of  Innocent  III.,  and  of  S.  Louis,  of  Albert  the  Great, 
and  of  Roger  Bacon,  of  Giotto,  and  of  Dante.  That  age 
witnessed  the  birth  of  the  cathedral  of  Cologne,  and  the 
Summa  Theologiae,  of  the  Divine  Comedy,  and  La  Sainte 
Chapelle,  of  the  Imitation  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  cathe- 
dral of  Amiens.  It  was  so  fruitful  in  great  men  and  great 
monuments,  that  it  would  need  an  entire  volume  to  give  a 
complete  list  of  both.  When  we  wander  amidst  the  marvels 
of  the  thirteenth  century,  we  are  astonished  at  the  injustice 
done  to  it  through  the  ignorance  of  mankind. 

"This  astonishment  is  increased  when  we  consider  more 
attentively  the  vast  movement  which  was  then  going  on  in 
the  bosom  of  mankind.  This  was  the  age  in  which  the 
Universities  of  Oxford  and  Paris  were  founded,  in  which 
S.  Louis  established  his  kingdom  on  a  legitimate  basis ;  in 
which  the  barons  wrung  the  Magna  Charta  from  king  John  ; 
in  which  the  great  religious  orders  of  S.  Dominic  and  S. 
Francis  sprung  up ;  in  which  gunpowder  was  invented,  the 
telescope  discovered,  the  laws  of  gravitation  recognized ;  in 
which  the  principles  of  political  representation  and  of  par- 

* — * 




March,  p.  no.j 

[March  7. 

* q* 

March  7.]  kS.   Thomas  Aquinas.  117 

liamentary  debate  sprang  into  fresh  life ;  in  which,  lastly, 
the  great  nationalities  of  modern  times  were  settling  them- 
selves decisively  into  their  places.  In  the  middle  of  this 
century  S.  Thomas  appeared.  This  man  sums  up  in  his 
own  person  all  that  was  purest  and  strongest  in  his  age  ;  he 
is  a  personification  of  that  power  which  subjugates  all  other 
powers  to  its  sway — the  power  of  great  ideas. 

"  Hitherto  men  have  seen  in  S.  Thomas  nothing  but  the 
pious  cenobite,  or,  at  best,  the  saintly  and  profound  theolo- 
gian, who  theorises  in  his  cloister,  scarce  deigning  to  bestow 
a  glance  on  the  age  in  which  he  lives.  But  if  we  study  the 
real  facts  of  his  history,  if  we  put  his  works  in  connection 
with  his  actions,  we  see  in  him  one  of  those  active  and 
impressionable  minds  which  keep  an  anxious  watch  over 
the  ideas  of  their  time,  either  to  array  against  them  all  the 
fulness  of  their  power,  as  a  dam  against  their  disorderly 
movements,  or  to  dash  into  their  midst  and  to  master  them 
by  guiding  them.  His  was,  indeed,  an  extraordinary  genius, 
whose  power  contemporary  minds  were  forced  to  recognize, 
whether  they  came  to  bruise  themselves  against  his  logic,  or 
whether  they  came  to  submit  themselves  to  his  direction. 
He  reigned  in  both  ways,  but  more  by  seconding,  than  by 
checking,  the  movements  of  his  age." 

S.  Thomas,  "  the  most  saintly  of  the  learned,  and  the 
most  learned  of  the  saints,"  sprang  from  a  noble  race.  His 
mother,  Theodora,  was  descended  from  the  Caraccioli,  a 
Norman  family,  and  was  countess  of  Hano  in  her  own  right. 
Her  ancestors  had  left  Normandy  200  years  before,  and 
having  driven  the  Saracens  and  Greeks  out  of  the  plains  of 
Southern  Italy,  had  established  themselves  at  Naples  and 
Messina,  and  having  made  prisoner  the  Roman  pontiff,  had 
received  the  crown  from  his  trembling  hands. 

Landulf,  Theodora's  husband,  of  the  house  of  Somma- 
coli,  otherwise  called  Counts  of  Loreto,  Ditcerra,   and  Bel- 

* * 


u8  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 7. 

castro,  belonged  to  one  of  the  most  remarkable  families  of 
middle  Italy.  His  father,  Thomas,  achieved  so  high  a 
military  reputation,  that  the  emperor,  Frederick  Barbarossa, 
nominated  him  Lieutenant-General  of  the  Holy  Roman 
empire,  and  gave  him  his  sister,  Frances  of  Suabia,  to  wife. 
His  ancestors  had  been  Dukes  of  Capua,  but  when  their 
inheritance  was  wrested  from  them,  they  assumed  the  title 
of  Aquino,  and  settled  themselves  between  the  Volturno 
and  the  Garigliano.  In  the  reign  of  Otto  III.,  one  of 
these  rough  warriors  took  Rocca  Sicca  from  the  abbot  of 
Monte  Cassino,  and  levelled  it  with  the  ground  (996). 
Thus  S.  Thomas  was  nephew  of  Frederick  the  First  and 
Henry  the  Fourth,  and  cousin  of  Frederick  the  Second, 
and  could  claim  connection  with  the  royal  houses  of  Arra- 
gon,  Sicily,  and  France.  Yet,  noble  and  illustrious  as  he 
was  by  birth,  he  was  to  be  made  nobler  and  more  illustrious 
still  by  the  brightness  of  his  virtues  and  by  the  splendour  of 
his  intellect. 

The  saint's  father  seems  to  have  combined  a  martial  spirit 
with  a  firm  devotion  to  the  faith.  Theodora,  a  woman  of 
immense  energy  of  character,  kept  herself  in  control  by 
severe  fasts  and  frequent  vigils.  The  little  town  of  Aquino 
occupies  the  centre  of  a  vast  and  fertile  plain,  commonly 
called  Campagna  Felice.  One  of  the  rugged  mountains 
which  hem  it  in  on  all  sides  pushes  forward  a  spur,  called 
Rocca  Sicca ;  on  the  summit  of  this  crag  still  stand  the 
ruins  of  the  castle  of  the  Aquinos.  It  was  in  a  chamber 
of  this  castle  that  a  Dominican  friar  appeared  to  Theodora, 
and  exclaimed,  "  Rejoice,  O  lady,  for  thou  art  with  child, 
and  thou  shalt  bring  forth  a  son,  whom  thou  shalt  call 
Thomas ;  both  thou  and  thy  husband  will  think  to  make 
him  a  monk  in  the  monastery  of  Monte  Cassino,  where  the 
body  of  blessed  Benedict  rests,  hoping  to  obtain  possession 
of  the  great  income  of  that  monastery  by  his  elevation,  but 

* * 

% , — — — * 

March;.]  .S.    Tliomas  Aquinas.  119 

God  has  ordained  otherwise  concerning  him,  for  he  will 
become  a  brother  of  the  Order  of  Preachers,  and  famous  for 
his  knowledge  and  the  sanctity  of  his  life."1  She  replied, 
"  I  am  not  worthy  to  bear  such  a  son ;  but  may  the  will  of 
God  be  done  !"  In  due  course  Theodora  gave  birth  to 
him,  who  was  afterwards  called  the  Angelic  Doctor,  in  the 
same  year  that  S.  Louis  became  king,  and  S.  Francis  of 
Assisi  died.  The  date,  however,  is  contested.  Most 
trustworthy  authorities  put  it  at  the  year  1227.  Some  say  it 
took  place  at  Rocca  Sicca,  some  at  Aquino,  others  at  Bel- 
castro.  Theodora  had  two  other  boys,  both  of  whom 
adopted  a  military  life ;  and  three  daughters  :  the  eldest 
became  a  nun,  and  died  an  abbess ;  the  second  married 
Count  San  Severino ;  the  youngest,  when  an  infant,  was 
sleeping  with  Thomas  and  his  nurse,  when  a  fork  of  light- 
ning shot  through  the  castle  window,  burnt  the  little  girl  to 
death,  but  left  S.  Thomas  uninjured  in  his  nurse's  arms. 

At  the  age  of  five,  S.  Thomas  was  sent  to  Monte  Cassino, 
his  parents  hoping,  in  spite  of  the  prophecy,  if  the  prophecy 
had  ever  been  really  uttered,  that  he  would  eventually  join 
the  order,  and  become  master  of  those  vast  possessions 
which  were  under  the  dominion  of  its  abbots.  The  monas- 
tery in  the  early  days  of  S.  Thomas  was  the  most  distin- 
guished school  of  letters  in  the  land.  The  little  child  was 
doubtless  dedicated  to  God,  as  others  were ;  he  was  brought 
into  the  sanctuary  in  the  arms  of  his  parents,  he  spoke  by 
their  mouth,  as  at  the  font,  he  put  out  his  tiny  hand  for  the 
sacred  corporal  to  be  wrapped  round  it,  and  thus  vowed 
himself  to  God.  The  education  of  the  child  was  committed 
to  a  large-hearted  and  God-fearing  man,  whose  chief  object 
was  to  fill  his  soul  with  God.  As  a  result  of  this  training  it 
came  to  pass  that  S.  Thomas's  constant  question   to  his 

1  Such  is  the  legend,  but  possibly  it  may  have  been  coined  after  the  death  of  S. 

& . — * 

* >J, 

i 20  Lives  of  tJie  Saints.  [March?. 

teachers  was,  "  What  is  God  ?"  Doubtless,  they  answered 
him  in  the  apostle's  words,  "  God  is  love."  The  personal 
appearance  of  the  young  S.  Thomas  indicated  the  presence 
of  a  governing  spirit ;  not  the  command  of  brute  force,  but 
the  command  of  intellect.  He  possessed  that  rare  class  of 
spiritual  beauty  which  tells  of  gentleness,  purity,  and  power. 
His  massive  head  betokened  strength ;  his  broad  tranquil 
brow,  his  meditative  eyes,  produced  the  impression,  not  so 
much  of  quickness  and  vivacity,  as  of  breadth  and  com- 
mand. He  seemed  to  live  in  a  sort  of  spiritual  light, — as 
the  sunbeam  striking  upon  a  landscape  naturally  beautiful 
invests  it  with  a  kind  of  transfiguration.  Though  he  seldom 
spoke,  when  he(did  speak,  he  set  hearts  beating  faster;  and 
often,  whilst  thus  conversing  with  his  companions,  the 
monks  would  approach  the  little  gathering  by  stealth,  to 
listen  to  the  precocious  wisdom  of  this  extraordinary  child. 

After  seven  years  quiet  study,  S.  Thomas  was  forced  to 
take  refuge  with  his  family  from  the  violence  of  the  imperial 
soldiers,  who  had  sacked  the  abbey,  and  made  a  prey  of  all 
its  wealth  in  plate  and  gems,  the  legacies  of  emperors, 
kings,  and  knights.  The  change  to  the  feudal  castle  of 
Loreto  must  have  been  a  violent  one  for  the  young  saint 
The  tramp  of  armed  men,  the  free  carousing,  the  shouts 
and  songs  of  mirth,  must  have  been  sources  of  temptation 
to  a  boy  of  twelve,  whose  life  had  hitherto  been  passed  in 
the  silence  of  the  cloister,  or  amid  the  sacred  songs  of  the 
monks,  but  the  holy  impressions  already  made  on  his  soul 
shielded  it  from  corruption. 

An  anecdote  is  related  of  him  at  this  period  which  shows 
how  full  his  young  heart  was  of  charity.  During  his  sojourn 
at  Loreto,  a  terrible  famine  ravaged  Southern  Italy.  The 
Aquinos  were  extremely  charitable  to  the  poor,  and  Thomas 
acted  as  his  father's  almoner.  But  not  satisfied  with  this, 
he  sometimes  stole  secretly  into  the  kitchen,  filled  his  cloak 



March?.]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  121 

with  whatever  came  to  hand,  and  hurried  to  the  castle  gate 
to  divide  his  spoils  amongst  the  famishing  people.  Having 
been  reprimanded  for  doing  so,  he  still  persisted ;  but  one 
day,  as  he  was  carrying  his  cloak  full  of  provisions,  he  met 
his  father  unexpectedly,  and  was  commanded  to  show  what 
he  was  hiding  with  so  much  care.  The  child  let  fall  his 
burden,  but  in  the  place  of  bread,  a  shower  of  flowers  hid 
the  feet  of  the  boy,  and  the  old  man,  Landulf,  burst  into 
tears,  and,  embracing  his  son,  bade  him  follow  at  liberty  the 
inspirations  of  his  charity. 

His  parents  determined  to  send  S.  Thomas  to  the  Uni- 
versity of  Naples,  which  was  then  at  the  height  of  its 
prosperity.  Tasti  states  that  he  commenced  the  study  of 
theology  under  the  profound  Erasmus,  the  Benedictine  pro- 
fessor of  that  science  in  the  University.  Tocco  states, 
however,  that  the  abbot  of  Monte  Cassino  advised  his 
removal  from  Monte  Cassino,  and  his  being  placed  at  the 
University  of  Naples,  where  he  studied  grammar  and  logic 
under  Martin,  and  natural  science  under  Peter  de  Hibernia. 

It  was  the  custom  for  the  students,  after  the  professor  had 
delivered  his  lecture,  to  present  themselves  at  a  stated  time, 
and  deliver  what  they  had  heard  before  their  companions 
in  the  schools.  When  it  came  to  S.  Thomas's  turn,  he 
repeated  the  lectures  with  greater  depth  of  thought,  and 
greater  lucidity  of  method,  than  the  learned  professor  him- 
self was  able  to  command. 

A  youth,  who  was  a  more  brilliant  expositor  of  truth  than 
its  professors,  would  surely,  during  his  stay  in  the  gay  centre 
of  Southern  Italy,  have  observed  with  interest  the  various 
phases  of  the  period  in  which  he  lived ;  he  must  have  felt, 
too,  that  an  organized  power  alone  could  meet  the  world. 
He  saw  what  an  immense  power  monasticism  had  been  in 
the  age  which  was  passing  away.  But  he  also  perceived 
that  the  world  had  changed.     The  efforts  of   the  solitaries 

* * 


122  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 7. 

and  contemplatives  had  not  been  able  to  direct  its  course. 
Citeaux  and  Clairvaux  had  done  a  work  indeed,  but  it  was 
not  the  work  of  directing  the  stream  of  human  thought 
They  had  not  perceptibly  affected  the  world.  The  old 
methods  seemed  to  have  dropped  out  of  use.  Discovery, 
and  travel,  and  enterprise  excited  the  imagination  of  the 
men  of  that  age ;  they  loved  activity  better  than  meditation. 
They  congregated  in  towns,  and  the  teaching  of  the  monas- 
tery gave  way  to  the  excitement  and  uproar  of  university 

What  then?  Thomas  would  ask  himself,  is  the  instru- 
ment, or  the  organization  adapted  to  oppose  the  powers  of 
the  world  ? 

The  Order  of  S.  Francis,  and  that  of  S.  Dominic,  were 
created  by  the  Church  for  resisting  the  mighty  pressure. 
The  former,  in  its  characteristics  of  poverty  and  love,  the 
latter,  in  its  specialities  of  eloquence  and  learning,  were 
designed  to  manifest  the  perfection  of  Christianity  in  a 
world  full  of  the  pomp  of  riches  and  the  maddening  influ- 
ences of  pantheistic  mysticism.  These  two  Orders  had 
chairs  at  Naples.  Probably  young  Aquino  was  struck  by 
the  devotedness  and  ability  of  the  Dominican  professors. 
The  special  scope  of  the  Order,  its  love  for  learning,  its 
active  ministrations  to  humanity,  while  still  retaining  the 
self-restraint  of  solitaries,  and  the  humility  of  monks,  must 
have  struck  a  new  chord,  or  an  old  cord  in  a  new  fashion, 
in  the  heart  of  the  saint.  Anyhow,  he  soon  became  inti- 
mate with  the  Fathers  of  the  Order,  and  especially  with  his 
dear  friend,  John  a  Sancto  Facundo. 

In  the  end,  S.  Thomas,  who  was  then  either  sixteen  or 
seventeen  years  old,  petitioned  for  the  habit  of  S.  Dominic. 
The  fathers  determined  to  put  his  perseverance  to  the  proof. 
They  required  him  to  make  the  demand  in  public.  On  the 
day  appointed,   from  a  very  early  hour,  the  church   was 




* * 

March ».]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  123 

flooded  by  a  great  crowd,  amongst  which  might  be  observed 
persons  of  the  highest  distinction  in  the  city.  The  religious 
of  the  house  ranged  themselves  in  the  choir.  Thomas  ad- 
vanced into  the  midst  of  these  two  clouds  of  witnesses,  and 
received  from  the  Superior,  Fra  Tomaso  d'  Agni  di  Lentino, 
the  badges  of  penance  and  subjection.  When  S.  Thomas 
entered  the  order,  John  of  Germany  was  general  (1239- 
1254),  and  a  constellation  of  famous  men  shone  with  a 
steady  light  from  the  Corona  Fratrum.  In  Germany  there 
was  Albertus  Magnus.  Hugh  of  S.  Caro  edified  all  France 
by  his  sanctity ;  and  Peter  of  Verona,  and  John  of  Vicenza, 
were  its  ornaments  in  Italy. 

It  may  be  imagined  that  Theodora  was  not  pleased  when 
she  heard  of  the  ceremony  from  the  lamentations  of  some 
of  her  vassals,  who  had  seen  the  young  count  dressed  up  as 
a  Dominican  friar.  She  forthwith  hastened  to  Naples  with 
a  large  retinue.  No  sooner  did  the  Dominicans  learn  that 
she  was  on  her  way,  than  they  hurried  the  boy  off, — some 
say  at  his  own  request — with  several  companions,  to  Rome, 
by  a  different  route  from  that  usually  followed  by  travellers. 

Theodora  speedily  followed  him  to  Rome.  In  vain  she 
tried  to  obtain  a  sight  of  him  by  entreaties  the  most  implor- 
ing, and  by  threats  the  most  indignant.  She  then  bewailed 
her  hard  lot  amongst  the  Roman  nobility,  and  denounced 
to  the  pope  the  rapacity  of  the  friars,  who  had  robbed  her 
of  her  boy. 

The  Dominicans,  dreading  her  influence  in  the  city,  sent 
S.  Thomas  to  Paris.  Theodora,  hearing  of  his  departure, 
sent  off  a  courier  to  his  two  brothers,  who  were  ravaging 
Lombardy  with  a  band  of  Frederick's  soldiers,  beseeching 
them  to  secure  the  fugitive.  They  set  guards  to  watch  the 
passes  through  which  the  Dominicans  could  escape.  As 
the  friars  lay  resting  under  a  tree,  near  Acquapendente, 
they  were  surrounded  by  armed  men,  and  Thomas  found 


* £, 

1 24  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ?. 

himself  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  his  brothers.  The  two 
young  soldiers  behaved  with  great  brutality  to  the  saint,  and 
forcing  him  on  horseback,  they  carried  him  to  San 

His  mother  made  use  of  every  argument  she  could  invent 
to  turn  him  from  his  purpose;  she  brought  into  play  all 
the  passions  of  her  nature,  her  tears,  her  entreaties,  her 
threats,  her  love;  but  without  effect.  Perceiving  that  he 
remained  unmoveable,  she  threw  him  into  prison,  and  set 
guards  to  watch  outside.  His  sisters  seconded  their 
mother ;  they  alone  were  allowed  to  wait  on  him,  and  they 
practised  all  their  arts  to  turn  him  from  his  vocation.  But 
in  the  end,  his  calm  deportment,  his  resignation  and  tender- 
ness, won  them  over.  They  put  him  in  a  position  to 
communicate  with  the  brethren.  The  saint  procured  a 
Bible,  the  Book  of  the  "  Sentences,"  and  some  of  the  works 
of  Aristotle,  and  learned  them  by  heart  Thus  it  was  that 
he  prepared  himself  for  his  mighty  labours  in  the  future. 

His  brothers  persevered  in  their  attempts  to  force  him 
from  religion.  They  were  furious  when  they  found  that, 
far  from  being  changed  himself,  Thomas  had  converted 
both  his  sisters.  They  forbade  the  girls  to  approach  him  ; 
and  bursting  in  upon  him,  insulted  him  with  brutal  jests, 
and  ended  by  tearing  his  habit,  piece  by  piece,  from  off  his 
back.  Then  Brother  John  of  S.  Giuliano  brought  another 
habit  for  him  from  Naples,  which  he  had  concealed  beneath 
his  own.  This  made  his  brothers  more  enraged  than 
before.  They  formed  the  infamous  expedient  of  hiring  a 
prostitute,  and  shutting  her  up  in  the  cell  with  Thomas. 
While  waiting  the  issue,  a  fearful  shriek  proceeding  from 
the  prison,  summoned  the  two  brothers;  they  arrived  in 
time  to  see  the  girl  rushing  away  in  an  agony  of  terror,  and 
the  young  man  chasing  her  with  a  blazing  brand,  which  he 
had  plucked  out  of  the  fire.     Even  the   brutality  of  the 

* * 

gr .,£, 

March  7.]  J?.    Thomas  ^Aquinas.  125 

young  soldiers  was  overcome  by  this;  and  from  that  day 
forth,  they  ceased  their  persecutions. 

Before  his  death,  the  saint  told  his  familiar  friend, 
Rainald,  that  no  sooner  had  the  girl  been  driven  out,  than 
he  made  a  cross  with  the  charred  brand  upon  the  wall,  and 
casting  himself  upon  his  knees  before  it,  made  a  vow  of 
chastity  for  life.  Whilst  thus  praying,  he  fell  into  a  calm 
sleep,  and  was  vouchsafed  a  vision.  He  saw  angels  de- 
scending from  the  clouds,  who  bound  his  loins  with  the 
girdle  of  continence,  and  armed  him  for  life  as  the  warrior 
of  Heaven.  This  girdle  is  said  to  have  been  given  after 
his  death  to  the  Dominicans  of  Vercelli,  who  refused  to 
part  with  it  at  the  command  of  a  pope. 

Still  his  relations  kept  him  in  confinement,  some  say  for 
two  years,  and  would  have  detained  him  longer,  had  it  not 
been  for  the  influence  of  the  Dominicans  with  the  pope. 
The  holy  father  was  roused.  He  not  only  brought  the  case 
before  the  emperor,  but  he  ordered  him  to  set  the  prisoner 
free,  and  threatened  to  visit  the  perpetrators  of  the  outrage 
with  condign  punishment  Frederick,  having  latterly  been 
humiliated  by  the  Viterbesi,  and  having,  in  consequence,  been 
abandoned  by  some  of  his  supporters,  was  not  sorry  for 
an  opportunity  of  gratifying  the  pontiff.  Orders  were  at 
once  sent  to  Landolf  and  Rainald  to  set  the  captive  free. 
Still  these  stubborn  soldiers  with  their  haughty  mother 
would  take  no  active  steps  to  give  Thomas  his  liberty. 
However,  his  sisters  informed  John  of  S.  Giuliano  of  the 
position  of  affairs,  and  he  at  once  hurried  to  the  castle 
accompanied  by  one  or  two  companions.  And  finally,  the 
girls  let  their  brother  down,  through  the  window,  like  an- 
other S.  Paul,  into  the  hands  of  his  delighted  brethren 
below,  who  at  once  hurried  him  off  to  Naples. 

Tocco  says  that  John  of  S.  Giuliano,  others  that  Tomaso 
d'Agni  diLentino,  was  Superior  of  the  Convent,  and  received 


* ' * 

126  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March,. 

our  saint's  profession.  Theodora,  repenting  that  she  had  let 
him  escape,  applied  to  the  pope  to  annul  his  vows.  The 
holy  father  sent  for  S.  Thomas,  and  questioned  him  in 
the  presence  of  the  court.  He,  with  his  natural  modesty, 
and  yet  with  gentle  firmness,  told  the  pope  how  unmistake- 
able  was  the  voice  which  had  called  him  to  religion,  and 
implored  the  holy  father  to  protect  him.  Innocent,  and 
the  prelates  about  him,  could  not  suppress  their  emotion. 
The  pope  acted  with  great  benevolence.  Knowing  Theo- 
dora's weakness,  he  proposed  to  make  Thomas  abbot  of 
Monte  Cassino,  whilst  still  allowing  him  to  wear  the  habit 
of  S.  Dominic,  and  to  partake  of  the  privileges  of  the  friars. 
His  mother  and  his  brothers  implored  Thomas  to  accept 
the  tempting  offering.  But  he  was  inexorable.  He 
besought  the  pope  to  leave  him  to  abide  in  his  vocation. 
Thenceforward  his  mother  no  longer  worried  him,  and 
his  brothers  left  him  alone  to  pursue  his  own  course. 

From  the  first,  the  Dominicans  seem  to  have  had  a  kind 
of  fore-knowledge  of  the  great  combat  that  would  have  to 
be  waged  in  the  arena  of  human  reason.  From  the  first, 
with  prudence,  forethought,  and  wise  economy,  they  pre- 
pared a  system  for  turning  the  abilities  of  their  members  to 
the  fullest  account.  With  them  no  intellect  was  lost. 
Power  was  recognised,  trained,  and  put  in  motion.  Those 
who  were  less  gifted,  were  set  to  less  intellectual  employ- 
ments :  those  who  had  great  powers  were  fitted  to  become 
lights  of  the  world  and  ornaments  of  the  Order.  With 
such  an  intellectual  capital  as  our  saint  possessed,  he  might 
fairly  have  been  set  to  work  in  the  active  ministrations  of 
his  Order.  But,  fortunately,  his  superiors  were  men  who 
looked  into  the  future,  and  knew  how  a  present  sacrifice 
would  be  repaid.  Thus,  instead  of  looking  on  S.  Thomas's 
education  as  finished,  they  considered  it  as  only  just  begun. 
Who  was  to  be  his  master  to  ripen  his  active  mind? 


»Jr _ >% 

March?.]  .S*.    Thomas  Aquinas.  127 

This  question  John  of  Germany,  4th  General  of  the 
Dominicans,  must  have  asked  himself.  At  last  he  set  out 
with  S.  Thomas  on  foot,  from  Rome  to  Paris,  and  from 
Paris  to  Cologne,  where  Albertus  Magnus  then  was.  It  is 
related  that  as  they  descried  the  beauty  of  Paris  in  the 
distance,  the  general  turned  to  Thomas  and  said,  "What 
would  you  give  to  be  king  of  that  city  ?"  "  I  would  rather 
have  S.  Chrysostom's  treatise  on  S.  Matthew,"  replied  the 
young  man,  "  than  be  king  of  the  whole  of  France." 

S.  Thomas  met  his  match  in  Albertus  Magnus.  Nothing  is 
a  greater  blessing  for  a  master-mind  than  to  come  in  contact 
with  another  master-mind,  more  highly  educated,  and  with 
a  more  matured  experience  than  itself.  Albert  was  born  of 
noble  family  at  Lavingen,  in  Suabia,  (1193  a.d.)  Some  say 
that,  like  S.  Isidore,  he  was  dull  as  a  boy.  At  Padua,  where 
he  was  studying  medicine  and  mathematics,  he  was  drawn 
by  Brother  Jordan's  eloquence  to  join  the  Dominicans.  He 
was  sent  to  Bologna,  then  the  second  centre  of  the  intel- 
lectual world.  Next  he  began  to  teach.  As  a  lecturer  he 
was  unrivalled  :  all  classes  thronged  into  the  hall  of  this 
extraordinary  man.  The  logic,  ethics,  and  physics  of 
Aristotle,  and  portions  of  Holy  Writ,  were  the  subject 
matter  of  his  lectures.  After  settling  at  Cologne,  he  was 
summoned  to  Paris  in  1228,  to  put  the  studies  on  a  footing 
to  meet  the  requirements  of  the  age.  Then  he  returned  to 
Cologne.  It  was  at  this  period  that  he  first  met  S.  Thomas, 
who  became  his  favourite  disciple,  and  to  whom,  in  private, 
he  opened  the  stores  of  his  capacious  mind. 

The  companions  of  S.  Thomas  in  Albert's  school,  were 
men  filled  with  the  impression  that  to  exert  the  reasoning 
faculties  in  debating  scholastic  questions,  was  one  of  the 
principal  ends  of  all  philosophy.  It  is  not  extraordinary 
that  such  men  as  these,  when  they  saw  young  Aquino  so 
silent,  should  imagine  that  nothing  occupied  his  thoughts ; 



128  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [Marcnj. 

especially  when  they  perceived  that  he  was  equally  reserved 
in  school.  They  soon  came  to  the  conclusion  that  he  was 
a  naturally  obtuse  lad.  What  is  more  strange  is  this, — that 
Albert  at  first  held  him  to  be  deficient.  He  was  called  by 
master  and  pupils,  "the  great  dumb  Sicilian  ox."  Once, 
when  studying  in  his  cell,  he  heard  a  voice  crying  to  him, 
■'  Brother  Thomas,  here  !  quick,  look  at  this  flying  ox  !" 
When  S.  Thomas  went  to  the  window,  he  was  received  with 
shouts  of  derision.  In  explanation  he  said  incisively  :  "  I 
did  not  believe  an  ox  could  fly,  nor  did  I,  till  now,  believe 
that  a  religious  could  tell  a  lie." 

A  companion  one  day  offered  to  assist  him  in  his  lesson. 
S.  Thomas  assented;  presently  his  friend  came  to  a  hard 
passage,  which  was  beyond  his  depth,  the  saint  took  the 
book  from  him,  and  explained  the  passage  with  great  clear- 
ness. Albert  had  selected  a  difficult  question  from  the 
writings  of  Dionysius  the  Areopagite;  this  the  scholars 
passed  to  S.  Thomas ;  he  took  it  to  his  cell ;  and  first 
stating  all  the  objections  that  could  be  made  against  it,  he 
then  answered  them.  A  brother  picked  up  this  paper,  and 
carried  it  to  Albert.  His  master  ordered  him  to  defend  a 
thesis  the  next  day  before  the  whole  school.  Thomas 
spoke  with  such  clearness,  established  his  thesis  with 
such  dialectical  skill,  saw  so  far  into  the  difficulties  of 
the  case,  and  handled  the  whole  subject  in  so  masterly 
a  manner,  that  Albert  exclaimed,  "Thou  seemest  to  me 
not  to  be  defending  the  case,  but  to  be  deciding  it." 
"Master,"  he  replied,  "I  know  not  how  to  treat  the 
question  otherwise."  Albert,  to  test  him  further,  started 
objections,  but  Thomas  solved  every  difficulty  so  success- 
fully, that  Albert  cried  out,  "  We  call  this  youth  '  Dumb 
Ox,'  but  the  day  will  come  when  the  whole  world  will  re- 
sound with  his  bellowing." 

In  1245,  it  was  determined  by  the  Dominican  Chapter 

4f — % 

March,  p.  128.] 

S.   THOMAS  AQUINAS.      After  Cahier. 

[March  7. 

March?.]  S-    Thomas  Aquinas.  129 

that   Albert    should   leave  Cologne    for    Paris,    and    that 
Thomas  should  finish  his  three  years  under  him  there. 

The  one  absorbing  science  of  the  middle  ages  was  the- 
ology. Learning,  in  all  its  branches,  pointed  to  the  study  of 
religion  as  the  great  terminus  of  the  human  mind,  and  the 
one  right  road  from  heaven  to  earth.  The  liberal  arts  were 
but  a  careful  and  laborious  preparation  for  philosophy  or 
logic;  logic,  in  turn,  was  only  valuable  inasmuch  as  it  was 
an  instrument  for  the  ordering,  defending,  and  proving  the 
great  truths  of  revelation.  The  great  object  of  life  was  to 
know  God.  Jacques  de  Vitry  beautifully  says,  "All  science 
ought  to  be  referred  to  the  knowledge  of  Christ."  It  may 
be  laid  down  roughly  that  the  Scriptures,  Peter  Lombard's 
Book  of  Sentences,  and  Aristotle,  were  the  three  great 
bases  on  which  the  active  intellect  of  the  13th  century 
rested  in  its  development  and  analysis  of  truth. 

The  students  of  the  Paris  University  may  be  divided  into 
three  classes  :  those  who  lived  in  seminaries,  those  who  lived 
in  monasteries,  and  those  who  lived  as  best  they  could.  Some 
were  destitute,  living  on  charity,  or  in  hospitia  ;  others  were 
rich  and  lordly,  great  spendthrifts  and  swaggerers,  studying 
out  of  mere  curiosity,  or  pure  conceit. 

John  of  S.  Alban  had  founded  a  hospitium  for  pilgrims, 
with  a  chapel  dedicated  to  S.  James ;  this  he  handed  over 
to  the  Dominicans,  which  gift  the  University  confirmed  on 
condition  that  mass  was  said  for  its  living  and  dead  mem- 
bers twice  a  year.  Thus  the  Dominicans  came  in  contact 
with  the  University.  From  the  first  they  attended  the 
theological  schools  of  the  Church  of  Paris.  S.  Louis  built 
them  a  convent,  and  at  his  death  left  them  a  part  of  the 
library  he  had  collected  at  the  Sainte  Chapelle.  Novices  were 
taught  Latin  and  logic;  and  disputations  echoed  in  the 
cloister.  Meditation  was  made  to  counterbalance  the 
excitement  of  study. 

vol.  in.                                                                       9 
* * 

130  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  7. 

The  lectures  were  given  in  large  halls.  In  the  middle 
stood  the  chair  of  the  master,  with  another  seat  below,  and 
in  front  of  him  a  stool  for  the  bachelor  who  was  going  through 
his  training.  If  there  was  not  room  on  the  benches,  the  stu- 
dents sat  on  the  straw  which  covered  the  floor.  The  teaching 
was  principally  done  by  question  and  answer,  by  exposition, 
repetition,  and  disputation.  No  book  was  used,  the  teacher 
might  have  the  text  before  him,  and  sometimes  the  stu- 
dents took  notes  in  shorthand,  which  they  wrote  out  at 
their  leisure. 

Nothing  has  been  handed  down,  of  any  moment,  regard- 
ing the  studies  of  S.  Thomas  at  Paris  during  this  period. 
Albert  was  at  the  height  of  his  reputation.  His  lecture- 
hall  was  so  crowded,  that  he  was  forced  to  lecture  in  a 
square,  near  Notre  Dame,  known  as  the  Place  Maubert 

The  same  year  in  which  S.  Thomas  finished  his  studies 
(1248),  a  general  chapter  of  Dominicans  was  held  at  Paris. 
Here  it  was  ruled  that  four  new  schools  should  be  started 
on  the  model  of  that  at  Paris.  Bologna  for  Lombardy; 
Montpellier  for  Provence;  Oxford  for  England;  Cologne 
for  Germany.  Albert  was  to  take  the  chair  at  Cologne, 
re-arrange  the  studies,  and  be  regent ;  whilst  Thomas,  who 
was  not  twenty-three,  was  to  be  second  professor,  and 
"  Magister  Studentium."  Albert's  old  reputation  attracted 
crowds.  Thomas  was  not  long  before  he  also  acquired  a 
brilliant  reputation. 

His  distinctions,  even  compared  with  those  of  Albert, 
were  so  new,  his  arguments  so  ingenious,  that  all  were 
dazzled  at  his  great  ability.  It  was  at  Cologne  that  he  first 
gave  evidence  as  a  teacher,  of  that  depth,  balance,  and 
expansion,  which,  in  after  life,  made  him  the  weightiest  of 
authorities  on  the  most  momentous  of  religious  questions. 
In  his  treatment  of  the  Scripture  and  of  the  Sentences,  he 
had  ample  opportunity  for  displaying  his  many-sided  gifts. 

*> * 


March  7.j  6*.    Thomas  Aquinas.  131 

Nor  did  he  confine  himself  to  teaching  in  the  schools. 
He  preached  and  wrote.  His  first  pieces  were  "  De  Ente  et 
Essentia,"  and  "  De  Principiis  Naturae."  These  two  works 
contain  the  germ  of  a  future  system,  and  were  remarkable 
productions  for  a  youth  of  twenty-two. 

The  saint's  practice  in  teaching,  and  the  accuracy  he 
acquired  by  writing,  from  an  early  age,  were  of  great  assist- 
ance to  him  in  developing  his  powers.  He  possessed, 
moreover,  a  gift — most  valuable  at  all  times  —  calmness 
and  self-possession,  which  was  the  result,  partly  of  edu- 
cation, greatly  of  character;  partly  of  breadth  of  mind, 
and  chiefly  of  grace.  Under  the  most  trying  provocation 
he  was  never  known  to  lose  his  self-control. 

His  humility  and  sweetness  came  out  strikingly  when 
arguing  in  the  schools.  Though  his  opponent,  in  the  heat 
of  disputation,  might  forget  himself,  Thomas  never  did. 

Once,  when  a  young  student  arrogantly  defended  a  thesis 
of  which  he  knew  the  saint  did  not  approve,  he  was  suffered 
to  proceed  in  silence.  But  the  next  day,  when  he  continued 
his  argument  with  still  greater  arrogance,  the  saint  with 
infinite  sweetness,  but  crushing  power,  put  a  few  questions, 
made  a  few  distinctions,  and  upset  the  student  with  such 
ease,  first  on  one  point,  then  on  another,  that  the  whole 
school  was  in  an  uproar  of  admiration.  Both  the  youth 
and  his  fellows  were  taught  a  lesson  which  they  did  not 
easily  forget.  Again,  while  he  was  preaching  at  S.  James's, 
an  official  of  the  University  walked  up  the  church,  and 
beckoned  the  saint  to  stop,  and  then  read  out  an  offensive 
document,  drawn  up  by  the  secular  party,  in  opposition  to 
the  Friars'  Preachers.  When  the  congregation  had  some- 
what recovered  from  their  surprise,  S.  Thomas  proceeded 
with  his  sermon  with  undisturbed  composure. 

Conrad  De  Guessia,  his  intimate  friend,  declared  him  to 
be :  "A  man  of  holy  life  and  honest  conversation,  peaceful, 



132  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

sober,  humble,  quiet,  devout,  contemplative,  and  chaste ;  so 
mortified  that  he  cared  not  what  he  ate  or  what  he  put  on. 
Every  day  he  celebrated  with  great  devotion,  or  heard,  one 
or  two  masses  ;  and  except  in  times  proper  for  repose,  he 
was  occupied  in  reading,  writing,  praying  or  preaching." 

"  His  science,  says  Rainald,  was  not  acquired  by  natural 
talent,  but  by  the  revelation  and  the  infusion  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  for  he  never  set  himself  to  write  without  having  first 
prayed  and  wept.  When  he  was  in  doubt,  he  had  recourse 
to  prayer,  and  with  tears  he  returned,  instructed  and  en- 
lightened in  his  uncertainty." 

It  was  about  this  time  that  S.  Thomas  was  ordained 
priest.  It  is  mortifying  that  no  certain  information  can  be 
procured  regarding  the  time  at  which  it  took  place.  All 
his  biographers  lay  stress  on  his  great  devotion  while 
celebrating.  He  was  frequently  rapt  in  spirit  whilst  at  mass, 
when  the  tears  would  spring  to  his  eyes,  and  flow  copiously. 
After  mass,  he  prepared  his  lectures,  and  then  went  to  the 
schools.  Next,  he  wrote  or  dictated  to  several  scribes ;  then 
he  dined,  returned  to  his  cell,  and  occupied  himself  with 
Divine  things  till  time  for  rest ;  after  which  he  wrote  again, 
and  thus  ordered  his  life  in  the  service  of  his  Master. 

The  duty  of  preaching  also  fell  upon  him.  A  man  so 
filled  with  the  Spirit  of  God  would,  almost  of  necessity, 
manifest  the  passion  which  ruled  supreme.  His  reputation 
even  at  this  period  was  great  enough  to  draw  a  large  con- 
gregation into  the  Dominican  Church. 

The  language  in  which  at  this  period  sermons  were 
preached  was  the  vernacular.  Even  when  written  in  Latin, 
and  this  was  generally  the  case,  they  were  delivered  to  the 
people  in  the  vernacular. 

The  biographers  of  S.  Thomas  speak  of  the  simplicity  of 
his  sermons.  Once,  in  a  discourse  on  the  Passion,  during 
Lent,  he  so  vividly  brought  home  to  the  congregation  the 


gf _»g 

March?.]  ,5".    Thomas  Aquinas.  133 

sufferings  of  the  cross,  and  drew  so  touching  a  picture  of 
the  compassion,  mercy,  and  love  of  Christ,  that  his  words 
were  interrupted  by  the  passionate  crying  of  the  people.  On 
Easter  Day,  his  sermon  on  the  Resurrection  filled  the  con- 
gregation with  such  jubilant  triumph  that  they  could  scarcely 
be  restrained  from  giving  public  expression  to  their  feelings. 

In  manner  he  was  gentle,  calm,  self-possessed.  Tocco 
says  that  preaching  at  Naples  on  the  text,  "  Hail,  Mary !" 
he  was  seen  to  keep  his  eyes  closed  in  the  pulpit,  and  his 
head  in  a  position  as  if  he  were  looking  into  heaven  :  he 
tells  us  also  that  the  people  reverenced  his  word  as  if  it 
came  from  the  mouth  of  God. 

In  the  two  hundred  and  twenty-five  skeleton  sermons 
which  he  has  left,  he  divides  his  subject  into  three  or  four 
grand  divisions,  which  are  again  sub-divided  into  three  or 
four  sections. 

After  four  years  at  Cologne  our  saint  received  orders  to 
take  his  degree  at  Paris,  (1248.)  The  Dominicans  wished 
to  place  their  most  promising  subjects  there,  that  the 
Order  might  maintain  its  credit.  Albert  and  Cardinal 
Hugh  of  S.  Charo  were  instrumental  in  his  removal :  the 
former  saw  that  the  saint  possessed  all  the  needed  qualifi- 
cations for  a  professorship ;  a  work  requiring  something 
more  than  learning — tact  and  temper. 

Thomas,  when  he  heard  of  it,  was  much  concerned.  His 
distaste  for  honour  and  position  made  him  wish  to  be  left 
alone.  Nevertheless,  in  obedience  to  authority,  he  set  out 
to  beg  his  way  to  Paris.  He  passed  through  Brabant  and 
Flanders,  and  preached  before  the  Duchess  Margaret 
The  learned  men  of  Paris  had  heard  of  his  successes  at 
Cologne,  and  he  was  received  by  them  with  marks  of 
unusual  distinction. 

The  Dominican  professors  of  theology  at  this  time  were 
Hugh  of  Metz  and  Elias  Brunetus.     It  was  as  teacher  in 


* * 

134  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

the  school  of  Elias  that  the  saint  began  to  expound  Holy 
Writ,  and  the  writings  of  Peter  Lombard.  His  influence  over 
young  men  far  surpassed  that  of  any  other  master.  They 
were  conscious  that  his  teaching  had  something  about  it  of 
another  world  ;  and  the  feeling  crept  over  all,  and  finally 
mastered  them,  that  he  spoke  as  one  "  having  authority." 
The  opinions  he  then  formed,  he  committed  to  writing,  and 
held  them  and  defended  them  with  little  change  in  his 
maturer  years.  From  his  youth  he  had  dedicated  himself 
to  Wisdom  as  his  spouse.  Only  one  thing  he  asked  for — 
that  was  wisdom.  Rainald  said,  "  One  thing  I  know  of 
him,  that  it  was  not  human  talent,  but  prayer,  which  was  the 
secret  of  his  great  success.  This  was  his  daily  prayer: 
'  Grant  me,  I  beseech  Thee,  O  merciful  God,  prudently  to 
study,  rightly  to  understand,  and  perfectly  to  fulfil  that 
which  is  pleasing  to  Thee,  to  the  praise  and  glory  of  Thy 
Name.'"  When  a  child,  if  conversation  did  not  turn  on 
God,  or  on  matters  which  tended  to  edification,  the  Angeli- 
cal Doctor  would  go  away ;  he  used  to  wonder  how  men, 
especially  religious  men,  could  talk  of  anything  but  God 
or  holy  things.  He  wept  for  the  sins  of  others,  as  if  they 
had  been  his  own. 

Though  ever  dwelling  in  the  unseen  kingdom,  he  was 
keenly  alive  to  the  tendency  of  the  intellectual  world  around 
him.  His  saintliness,  and  his  great  ability,  seem  to  have 
pointed  him  out  as  destined  to  sway  the  philosophical  and 
theological  tendencies  of  an  age  in  which  the  human  mind 
was  in  a  condition  of  flux.  The  corroding  rationalism  of 
the  school  of  Abelard,  and  the  dissolving  mysticism  of  the 
East,  had  to  be  faced,  and  to  be  withstood.  Thomas  fixed 
himself,  therefore,  on  the  immoveable  basis  of  authority, 
and  grounded  his  teaching  on  the  monastic  methods  of  the 
"  Sentences."  Doubtless  the  surprise  caused  by  his  dis- 
tinctions,  and   the  admiration   created   by  his  novelty  in 

* * 

*- * 

March 7.j  ,£    Thomas  Aquinas.  135 

argument,  proceeded  in  great  measure  from  his  vivid 
apprehension  of  the  work  he  had  to  do,  of  the  enemy  he 
was  contending  with,  and  of  the  powers  by  which  alone 
that  enemy  could  be  overthrown.  He  followed  Albert, 
but  his  teaching  was  more  incisive,  more  definite,  more 
strictly  to  the  point 

Many  of  his  disciples  became  distinguished  men.  S. 
Thomas  assisted  others  beside  his  own  pupils.  Sovereigns, 
cardinals,  bishops,  superiors  of  orders,  and  professors,  wrote 
to  him  for  advice,  and  for  solutions  of  their  difficulties. 
The  Opusculum  on  the  difference  between  the  Divine  and 
human  word;  and  the  somewhat  larger  treatise,  on  the 
nature  of  the  intellectual  word,  are  full  of  close  reasoning-; 
and  state  principles  which  are  fundamental  regarding  the 
method  of  human  knowledge. 

One  of  the  most  important  of  his  treatises  is  that  ad- 
dressed "ad  Fratrem  Rainaldum,"  on  the  nature  of  the 
Angels.  It  was  begun  during  his  bachelorship,  but  he 
never  got  beyond  the  30th  chapter.  It  shows  his  grasp  of 
some  of  the  cardinal  questions  of  the  day,  and  how  master- 
fully he  dealt  with  errors  of  the  most  promising  minds  in  the 
Paris  schools. 

But  whilst  thus  engaged  upon  the  Scriptures  and  the 
Lombard,  S.  Thomas  was  frequently  in  the  pulpit,  and  he 
regularly  delivered  lectures  to  crowded  halls.  His  versatility, 
his  power  of  abstraction,  his  astonishing  memory,  his  zealous 
husbanding  of  time,  carried  him  with  ease  through  works 
which  would  have  broken  the  spirit  of  any  ordinary  man. 
He  possessed  that  marvellous  gift  which  Origen  and  Caesar 
are  said  to  have  had,  of  being  able  to  dictate  to  three  or 
even  four  scribes  on  different  and  difficult  subjects  at  the 
same  time,  and  that,  too,  without  losing  the  thread  of 
each  argument. 

Frigerius  says  that,  as  Professor,  he  elucidated  the  Sen- 

* K 

136  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  7. 

tences  with  such  sublimity  of  thought  that  he  seemed  rather 
the  author  of  the  work  than  its  expositor.  Tocco,  "  that 
he  surpassed  all  the  masters  of  the  University,  and  by  the 
lucidity  of  his  expositions  drew,  beyond  all  others,  the  in- 
telligences of  his  disciples  towards  a  love  of  science." 
Students  from  every  part  of  Europe  nocked  around  his 

In  touching  on  S.  Thomas's  commentary  on  the  "  Sen- 
tences," the  influence  of  Alexander  Hales  must  not  be 
forgotten,  but  he  far  eclipsed  the  Minorite  in  his  proofs  of 
the  non-eternity  of  the  world — a  question  of  momentous 
importance  in  the  Middle  Ages,  as  well  as  in  his  discussion 
of  the  possibility  and  fitness  of  the  Incarnation.  Thomas 
carried  his  teaching  on  Grace  to  such  perfection  that  in  the 
Middle  Ages  it  was  always  received  as  a  standard  authority. 

If  judged  by  its  bulk,  this  "Commentary"  would  seem 
sufficient  to  have  occupied  a  life.  It  fills  over  1250  pages 
of  the  large  quarto  Parma  edition,  printed  in  double 
columns.  It  is  a  monument  of  ceaseless  labour,  great 
skill,  and  patient  thought. 

The  work  of  the  Lombard  is  a  confusion  compared  with 
the  lucid  style  and  admirable  arrangement  of  the  saint.  In 
place  of  the  crabbed  inverted  language  of  Peter,  we  have 
the  simple,  logical,  direct  use  of  words,  which  go  straight 
to  the  point,  and  express  the  complete  idea.  He  has  these 
weighty  words  on  the  subject  of  theology,  "  Since  the  end 
of  all  philosophy  is  contained  within  the  end  of  theology, 
and  is  subservient  to  it,  theology  ought  to  command  all 
other  sciences,  and  turn  to  its  use  those  things  which  they 
treat  of."  He  adds,  "  The  more  sublime  knowledge  is,  so 
much  greater  is  its  unity,  and  so  much  wider  the  circle  of 
its  expansion,  whence  the  Divine  intellect,  which  is  the 
most  sublime  of  all,  by  the  light,  which  is  God  Himself, 
possesses  a  distinct   knowledge   of  all   things."     He  also 

>j— ^ 

* * 

March?.]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  137 

shows  how  the  intellect  becomes  illuminated  when  led  by 
faith,  illustrating  the  motto  of  the  monastic  school,  "  Nisi 
credideritis,  non  intelligetis."  And  he  shows  that  theology- 
is  deduction,  and  philosophy  induction  ;  and  that  the  basis  of 
theology  must  be  authority,  i.e.,  a  Revelation. 

During  the  Lent  of  1250  or  1253,  the  city  patrol  came 
in  collision  with  a  party  of  students,  killed  one  of  them, 
wounded  three  others,  and  carried  them  off  to  prison.  The 
secular  professors  of  the  University  refused  to  lecture,  until 
the  beadles  were  punished,  but  the  Dominican  and  Francis 
can  teachers  went  on  with  their  lectures.  When  redress 
had  been  granted  to  the  University  for  the  outrage,  that 
body  drew  up  an  oath  to  observe  all  the  laws  of  the  Uni- 
versity, which  it  was  intended  should  be  taken  by  all  persons 
before  taking  the  degree  as  master.  The  regulars  refused 
to  take  it;  then  the  University  issued  a  decree,  declaring 
the  friars  excluded  from  its  body,  and  deprived  of  their 
chairs.  The  latter  appealed  to  Rome.  The  pope  com- 
missioned the  bishop  of  Evreux,  and  Luke,  canon  of  Paris, 
to  re-establish  the  friars  in  their  chairs,  which  was  done. 
This  pope  dying,  his  successor  issued  a  bull,  binding  all  to 
stop  teaching  in  case  of  insult,  but  re-establishing  the  friars. 
The  king,  returning  home,  stopped  the  execution  of  the 
papal  briefs.  The  pope  issued  another  bull  more  stringent 
than  the  first.  Since  1256,  S.  Thomas  had  been  lecturing 
as  licentiate.  At  the  same  time  he  was  enjoying  the  friend- 
ship of  S.  Bonaventura,  who  was  lecturing  under  the 
Franciscan  professor.  Both  men  exhibited,  in  a  striking 
manner,  the  fundamental  quality  of  the  order  to  which  they 
respectively  belonged.  Bonaventura  loved  to  look  into  the 
placid,  earnest  soul  of  Thomas,  as  into  a  deep  sea,  with  its 
marvellous  transparency,  and  awful  stillness ;  whilst  Thomas 
was  roused  and  brightened  by  the  ardent  gushing  nature  of 
his  friend.     S.  Thomas  was  angelical ;  S.  Bonaventura  was 

* * 

* — « 

138  Lives  of  the  Saints.  iMarch7. 

seraphic — the  one,  the  deep  thinker ;  the  other,  the  tender 
poet  Thomas  was  famous  in  the  schools  for  the  keenness 
of  his  thought,  and  for  his  depth  and  clearness ;  Bonaven- 
tura  for  his  eloquence  and  vivacity  in  exposition ;  the  former 
was  a  child  of  contemplation,  the  latter  of  activity.  Once 
S.  Thomas  asked  S.  Bonaventura  to  show  him  the  books 
out  of  which  he  got  his  sublime  thoughts.  "  There  is  the 
book,"  replied  S.  Bonaventura,  pointing  to  the  crucifix. 
During  this  time  S.  Thomas  wrote  his  "  Exposition  on  the 
Apostles'  Creed,  the  Lord's  Prayer,  the  Angelic  Salutation, 
the  Ten  Commandments,  and  the  Law  of  Love."  Another 
work  on  the  "  Articles  of  the  Faith  and  the  Sacraments  " 
falls  within  this  period,  as  well  as  a  commentary  on  Isaiah. 

Meanwhile,  William  of  S.  Amour,  the  celebrated  philoso- 
pher and  doctor  of  the  University,  was  endeavouring  to 
turn  the  mendicant  Orders  out  of  Paris  by  getting  people  to 
withhold  their  alms,  and  by  forbidding  the  members  of  these 
Orders  to  attend  the  secular  lectures. 

He  also  endeavoured  to  fix  the  authorship  of  an  heretical 
work,  called  "The  Everlasting  Gospel,"  on  the  Franciscans 
and  Dominicans. 

But  he  himself  had  written  a  book,  called  "  Perils  of  the 
last  times."  This  the  king  sent  by  two  doctors  of  theo- 
logy for  the  pope's  examination.  The  University  sent  a 
deputation  to  make  the  Holy  Father  acquainted  with  "  The 
Everlasting  Gospel."  William  was  leader  of  this  deputa- 
tion. S.  Thomas  was  sent  to  defend  his  order;  S.  Bona- 
ventura that  of  S.  Francis.  S.  Thomas,  after  examining  the 
"  Perils,"  reported  to  the  Dominican  chapter  that  "  God  had 
given  him  grace  to  discover  whatever  is  false,  captious, 
erroneous,  impious  in  it,  and  that  after  the  holy  See  had 
pronounced  judgment  on  it,  the  faithful  would  only  notice 
it  to  condemn  it."  In  a  few  days  the  saint  prepared  his 
defence  of  the  order,  and  his  answer  to  the  "  Perils."     He 

* * 

*— ■ * 

March?.]  ,5".    Thomas  Aquinas.  139 

pleaded  before  the  pope  and  sacred  college  with  such  suc- 
cess as  to  gain  their  applause. 

When  he  had  done,  the  four  cardinals  gave  in  their  report 
on  the  "  Perils,"  which  stated  that  it  was  full  of  false  doc- 
trine, injurious  to  the  authority  of  the  pope  and  the  bishops, 
and  to  the  honour  of  several  religious  orders  approved  by 
the  holy  See.  After  examining  the  report,  the  pope  con- 
demned the  "  Perils  "  by  a  bull,  dated  October  5th,  1256, 
and  ordered  the  book  to  be  burnt  The  deputation  from 
the  University  arrived  after  the  work  of  their  leader  had  - 
been  burnt.  They  endeavoured  to  obtain  a  revocation  of 
the  condemnation,  but,  instead,  they  were  compelled  to 
take  pen  and  themselves  subscribe  it  They  swore,  more- 
over, to  receive  into  the  body  of  the  University  the 
Dominicans  and  Franciscans,  especially  SS.  Thomas  and 
Bonaventura.  William  of  S.  Amour  refused  to  comply, 
and  being  forbidden  to  enter  France,  retired  to  his  estate 
in  Burgundy.  A  few  years  later  he  was  allowed  to  return 
to  Paris.  He  died  in  1270.  It  was  partly  in  reply  to 
William's  attack  on  the  religious  orders,  that  S.  Thomas 
wrote  his  Opusculum,  "  Against  those  who  attack  religion 
and  the  worship  of  God,"  and  that  "  Against  those 
who  hinder  men  from  entering  religion,"  which  are  the 
best  defence  and  exaltation  of  monastic  principles  ever 

S.  Thomas  having  been  recalled  by  his  superiors  before 
the  winter  of  the  same  year  (1256),  embarked  on  board 
a  ship  bound  for  France.  The  vessel  was  overtaken  by  a 
furious  storm ;  the  pilot  and  sailors  tried  every  artifice  to 
escape  the  shoals,  on  which  they  were  being  driven  by  wind 
and  wave.  Thomas,  like  a  second  S.  Paul,  preserved  his 
confidence,  and  prayed  God  to  give  him  all  the  souls  that 

1  For  this  part  of  the  history  of  S.  Thomas,  treated  at  greater  length,  see  "  The 
Life  and  Labours  of  S.  Thomas  of  Aquin,"  by  the  Very  Rev.  R.  B.  Vaughan. 

*— 4, 

140  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

were  with  him.       His  prayer  was   heard  :    the   aspect   of 
nature  changed,  and  the  ship  pursued  her  course  in  safety. 

Several  bulls  followed  the  deputies  to  Paris.  The  pru- 
dence and  kindness  of  S.  Louis  helped  greatly  to  restore 
peace  between  the  University  and  the  friars.  The  Univer- 
sity seal  was  set  to  the  summons  addressed  to  SS.  Thomas 
and  Bonaventura  to  take  their  doctor's  degrees,  which  had 
been  delayed  two  years  by  the  troubles.  S.  Thomas  thought 
many  other  Dominicans  more  deserving  of  the  honour  than 
himself.  Whilst  sadly  meditating  on  this,  he  thought  an  old 
man  appeared  to  him,  asking  the  cause  of  his  sadness.  He 
replied,  "  It  is  not  right  that  they  should  force  me  to  take 
rank  among  the  doctors,  a  thing  of  which  I  am  not  capable." 
The  old  man  said,  "  The  order  thou  hast  received  is  assur- 
ance enough ;  it  destroys  thy  own  will,  and  points  to  God's 
will  in  that  of  thy  superiors.  Take  as  the  text  of  thy  thesis  : 
'  He watereth  the  hills  from  above :  the  earth  is  filled  with  the 
fruit  of  Thy  works.  Ps.  ciii.  13.'"  On  the  morrow,  after 
a  struggle  between  S.  Bonaventura  and  himself  for  the  last 
place,  Thomas,  as  being  the  younger,  gained  it.  He 
preached  from  the  text  given  him,  and  it  has  been  regarded 
as  a  prophecy  of  the  influence  which  the  new  doctor  was  to 
exercise  over  Christendom.  The  day  on  which  he  took  his 
degree  was  the  23rd  October,  1257. 

The  epoch  on  which  we  have  now  entered  is  the  most 
glorious  period  of  our  saint's  life.  The  star  of  his  genius 
mounted,  without  a  cloud  to  obscure  it,  in  the  firmament  of 
the  Church.  In  spite  of  all  the  eulogies  of  his  contem- 
poraries, it  is  difficult  for  us  to  comprehend  now-a-days  the 
extent  of  the  power  which  Aquinas  exercised  over  the  men 
and  the  ideas  of  his  time. 

S.  Thomas  now  drew  up  his  famous  "Summa  contra 
Gentiles."  He  begins  this  treatise  by  stating  that  he  will 
discuss   all   questions   on   the   ground    of   human   reason, 

* * 

March  7.]  6".    Thomas  Aquinas.  141 

seeking  therein  a  common  ground  on  which  to  combat  his 
adversaries,  or  rather  seeking  in  their  natural  intelligence  a 
point  on  which  to  rest  that  bridge  which  might  lead  them 
from  human  reason  to  the  truth  of  God  ;  then  he  establishes 
the  necessity  of  faith ;  he  shows  next  that  reason  affords 
ground  for  expecting  a  supernatural  revelation ;  lastly,  he 
cements  together  reason  and  faith.  Then  he  makes  his 
general  division :  he  considers  God  in  Himself,  in  relation 
to  men,  and  men  in  relation  to  God.  To  these  three  parts 
he  joins  a  fourth,  viz.,  revelation  properly  so-called ;  therein 
he  expounds  the  Trinity,  the  Incarnation,  with  all  the 
dogmas  which  attach  themselves  to  it,  the  whole  destiny 
of  man  in  the  plan  of  Christianity.  This  we  may  call  the 
theological  evolution  of  his  great  work.  In  that  which  may 
be  called  its  philosophical  introduction  he  resolves  all  such 
difficult  questions  ;  as  the  falsehood  of  pantheism,  evil  and 
its  origin,  its  nature,  and  its  effects,  which  he  turns  into  a 
proof  of  God's  existence  in  opposition  to  those  unquiet 
spirits,  who  saw  in  it  a  reason  for  doubting  His  existence. 

This  work  was  followed  immediately  by  one  upon  all  the 
Epistles  of  S.  Paul. 

The  question  of  the  Eucharistic  accidents  was  then  much 
mooted  in  the  schools,  especially  in  those  of  Paris.  The 
question  was,  whether  those  accidents  had  anything  real,  or 
were  only  an  appearance,  in  other  words,  whether  the  form 
under  which  Jesus  hides  Himself  in  the  Eucharist  exists  in 
the  Sacrament  itself,  or  in  a  false  relation  of  the  senses  ? 
Wearied  with  a  struggle  to  which  they  could  foresee  no  end, 
all  the  doctors  determined  to  refer  the  question  to  the  deci- 
sion of  S.  Thomas,  and  to  accept  that  decision  as  conform- 
able to  the  light  of  reason  and  faith.  The  saint  braced 
himself  to  the  contemplation  of  this  subject,  and  having 
prayed,  he  wrote  as  the  Spirit  inspired  him.  He  was  loth 
to   take  into  the  presence    of    the    doctors    and    of   the 

* * 

* — * 

142  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

schools,  the  fruit  of  his  science  and  his  prayer,  before  he  had 
consulted  Him  of  Whom  he.  was  speaking,  Whose  aid  he 
had  implored. 

He  came  to  the  altar,  and  placing  before  the  tabernacle 
as  before  the  Master  of  masters,  that  which  he  had  written 
on  the  subject  of  the  controversy,  he  raised  his  hands 
towards  the  image  of  Jesus  crucified,  and  prayed  in  this 
fashion  :  "  O  Lord  Jesu,  Who  dost  verily  dwell  in  this 
wonderful  Sacrament,  Whose  works  are  incomprehensible 
marvels,  I  humbly  beseech  Thee,  if  what  I  have  written 
about  Thee  is  agreeable  to  the  truth,  grant  that  I  may 
teach  it,  and  persuade  my  brethren  of  it  on  Thy  behalf; 
but  if,  on  the  contrary,  there  be  anything  in  this  writing 
which  errs  from  the  Catholic  faith,  make  it  impossible  for 
me  to  bring  it  before  their  eyes." 

Now  the  doctor  had  been  followed  by  his  habitual  com- 
panion and  by  several  other  religious  of  our  order,  and  they 
saw  Jesus  Christ  standing  on  the  leaves  which  had  been 
written  by  the  hand  of  Thomas,  and  saying  to  him,  "Thou 
hast  written  worthily,  my  son,  of  the  Sacrament  of  My 
Body."  And  the  doctor's  prayer  still  continuing,  he  was 
seen  to  raise  himself  nearly  to  the  height  of  a  cubit  in  the  air. 

The  author  who  gives  this  account  says  he  received  it 
from  a  religious  who  was  at  S.  James's  with  S.  Thomas. 
The  members  of  the  University  submitted  to  the  decision, 
though  given  by  a  young  man  of  only  thirty-two  years  of  age. 

Louis  IX.  had  forced  our  saint  to  enter  his  council  cham- 
ber. Whenever  an  important  affair  was  coming  on  for 
deliberation  in  the  royal  council,  the  king  caused  brother 
Thomas  to  be  instructed  about  it  over  night,  that  he  might 
reflect  thereon  in  solitude,  and  might  remember  it  at  the 
Sacrifice.  He  was  consulted  by  the  king  not  so  much  as 
the  man  of  genius,  but  as  the  man  of  God. 

The  saint,  in  spite  of  his  earnest  entreaties  to  be  excused, 

£ # 

* * 

March  m  .S".    Thomas  Aquinas.  143 

was  sometimes  compelled,  both  by  loyalty  and  courtesy,  to 
appear  at  the  royal  table.  For  a  while  he  would  join  in  the 
general  conversation,  soon  to  be  withdrawn  by  his  inward 
thoughts.  Once,  at  dinner,  after  a  long  silence,  he  smote 
the  table  smartly,  exclaiming,  "  That  is  an  overwhelming 
argument  against  the  Manichaeans."  His  superior  bade 
him  remember  that  he  was  in  the  king's  presence.  Thomas 
apologised  for  his  absence  of  mind.  But  the  king,  smiling, 
requested  him  to  dictate  to  one  of  his  secretaries  the  argu- 
ment which  had  engrossed  his  attention,  that  it  might  lose 
none  of  the  force  which  marks  the  thoughts  of  genius  at 
their  first  conception. 

The  Dominican  Chapter,  held  at  Valenciennes,  in  1259, 
appointed  Thomas,  Albertus  Magnus,  and  Pierre  de  Taren- 
taise  as  a  commission  to  establish  order  and  uniformity  in 
all  schools  of  the  Dominicans. 

Alexander  IV.  died  at  Viterbo,  on  May  25th,  1261. 
Jacques  Pantaleon,  Latin  patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  who  was  at 
Viterbo  imploring  protection  for  the  Christians  of  the  East, 
was,  to  his  surprise,  raised  to  the  pontifical  throne,  under 
the  title  of  Urban  IV.  Wishing  to  unite  into  one  the 
divided  portions  of  east  and  west  Christianity,  he  summoned 
S.  Thomas  to  Rome  to  help  him  in  realising  his  project  It 
was  in  the  same  year  that  S.  Thomas  came  to  Rome  in 
answer  to  this  appeal.  His  general  gave  him  at  once  a 
chair  of  theology  in  the  Dominican  college  at  Rome,  where 
he  obtained  the  like  success  that  had  gained  at  Cologne 
and  Paris.  Here  he  wrote  his  literal  commentary  on  Job, 
and  the  Catena  Aurea.  The  chain  of  comments  from  the 
fathers  is  so  perfect,  the  links  of  gold  in  it  are  so  well 
rivetted  to  one  another,  that  a  biographer  says  that,  "  He 
speaks  with  all,  and  all  speak  and  explain  themselves  by 
him."  It  was  dedicated  to  the  Pope,  at  whose  solicitation 
it  had  been  undertaken. 

* g, 

$ £ 

144  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  7. 

In  the  midst  of  the  toil  these  works  must  have  cost  him, 
he  did  not  forget  the  purpose  for  which  he  was  summoned. 
All  the  time  he  was  thinking  out  and  penning  his  treatise, 
"Contra  errores  Graecorum."  In  his  hands,  and  by  the 
force  of  his  irresistible  logic,  he  showed  that  the  ancient 
Greek  fathers  unanimously  agreed  with  those  of  the  Latin 

This  work  was  sent  by  the  pope  at  once  to  Michael, 
emperor  of  Constantinople,  as  a  message  of  peace.  He 
had  just  returned  to  his  capital,  which  Latin  princes  had 
held  for  more  than  half  a  century.  The  object  of  all  his 
efforts  was  to  reconstitute  the  power  of  the  empire.  To 
this  task  he  brought  an  energy,  a  perseverance,  and  talents 
hitherto  unknown  among  the  sovereigns  of  that  nation.  He 
turned  his  eyes  for  help  towards  the  pope ;  but  it  was  the 
politician,  rather  than  the  Christian,  that  solicited  the  re- 
establishment  of  Catholic  unity. 

S.  Thomas,  at  the  request  of  an  Eastern  prince,  wrote  a 
treatise  in  refutation  of  the  errors  that  were  rife  in  that  part 
of  the  world.  Nothing  could  be  more  modest  than  the  way 
in  which  he  stated  his  purpose,  nothing  more  grand  than  the 
way  in  which  he  worked  it  out. 

Urban  wished  to  reward  his  distinguished  services.  The 
great  wealth  he  offered,  the  saint  directed  should  be  given  to 
the  poor.  He  declined  the  offer  of  the  patriarchate  of 
Jerusalem,  and,  shortly  after,  the  honour  of  a  cardinal's 
hat,  for  Thomas  had  thoroughly  realized  both  the  myste- 
rious treasures  of  voluntary  poverty  and  the  hidden  force 
of  evangelical  humility. 

The  pope,  finding  he  could  not  attach  our  saint  to  his 

1  It  is  necessary  to  point  out  here  that  S.  Thomas  was  misled  by  forgeries  in  this 
treatise.  A  Latin  theologian,  who  had  resided  among  the  Greeks,  composed  a  catena 
of  spurious  passages  of  Greek  Councils  and  Fathers,  and  in  1261  it  was  laid  before 
Urban  IV.,  who,  entirely  deceived  thereby,  sent  it  to  S.  Thomas,  who  also  accepted 
it  without  the  least  suspicion  of  its  not  being  genuine. 

* * 

*— * 

March  7.]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  145 

court  by  the  ties  of  honours  or  riches,  bade  him  lecture  at 
the  various  places  where  he  took  up  his  abode,  Viterbo, 
Orvieto,  Perugia,  Fondi.  Everywhere  a  prodigious  number 
of  pupils  pressed  around  his  chair.  The  churches  were  too 
small  to  receive  the  numbers  who  flocked  to  hear  him. 
Historians  only  record  one  course  of  Lent  sermons  preached 
by  him  in  Rome. 

One  Christmas-eve  he  held  a  disputation  with  two  Jewish 
Rabbis  at  the  villa  of  a  cardinal.  After  asking  them  to 
return  in  the  morning,  he  passed  the  whole  night  in  medi- 
tation and  prayer.  The  Rabbis  returned  in  the  morning, 
but  it  was  to  ask  for  baptism. 

In  1263,  Thomas  was  sent  to  the  Dominican  general 
chapter,  held  in  London,  as  "  definitor,"  in  the  name  of  the 
Roman  province. 

Soon  after  his  return  to  Italy,  S.  Thomas  proposed  to 
Urban  the  institution  of  a  special  festival  throughout  the 
Catholic  Church  in  honour  of  the  Holy  Sacrament.  When 
Urban  was  archdeacon  of  Liege,  in  the  convent  of  Mont 
Cornillon,  near  one  of  the  gates  of  the  city,  a  poor  re- 
ligious named  Juliana  (April  3rd),  as  she  prayed  had  a 
vision  of  the  moon  shining  in  all  its  splendour,  but  dis- 
figured by  one  little  breach.  She  desired  to  know  its  mean- 
ing, and  an  inner  voice  told  her  it  was  the  Church,  and  that 
the  breach  represented  the  defect  of  a  festival  in  honour  of 
the  Blessed  Sacrament.  After  a  time,  an  ofhce  in  honour 
of  the  Blessed  Sacrament  was  drawn  up  by  a  young  religious. 
Robert  de  Torote,  bishop  of  Liege,  in  1246,  appointed 
Thursday,  in  the  octave  of  Trinity,  for  this  feast. 

Henry  of  Gueldres  succeeded  him  as  bishop,  and  treated 
the  revelations  of  Juliana  as  folly.  She  died  on  5th  April, 
1258,  and  left  as  a  legacy  to  her  friend  Eve  the  duty  of 
reviving  this  festival.  Eve  was  a  recluse  built  up  in  a 
niche  of  a  wall  near  the  church  of  S.  Martin,  at  Liege, 

vol  in.                                                                      10 
* * 

* — * 

146  Lives  of  the  Saints.  iMarch?. 

and  through  the  hole  by  which  she  received  light,  air,  and 
alms,  besought  the  canons  as  they  passed  to  seek  out  the 
bishop  and  entreat  him  to  write  to  the  pope  on  the  subject 
of  the  proposed  festival.  The  bishop  did  not  disdain  this 
humble  prayer,  but  transmitted  her  message  to  the  pope, 
who  received  at  the  same  time  the  petition  of  the  first 
doctor  in  the  Church  to  the  same  effect.  He  wrote  a  letter 
to  the  poor  recluse  of  S.  Martin,  in  1264,  telling  her  of  the 
issuing  of  a  bull  in  answer  to  her  prayer,  and  transmitting  a 
copy  of  the  office  which  the  Angelical  doctor  had  drawn  up. 

Clement  IV,  succeeded  Urban  on  the  22nd  of  February, 
1265.  Shortly  after  his  elevation  he  issued  a  bull  appoint- 
ing S.  Thomas  archbishop  of  Naples,  and  conferring  on  him 
the  revenues  of  the  convent  of  S.  Peter  ad  Aram.  But  the 
pope  was  induced  to  recall  it  by  the  prayers  and  tears  of 
our  saint. 

In  this  year  we  must  place  the  first  commencement  of  the 
"Summa  Theologise.''  This  was  the  greatest  monument  pro- 
duced by  that  age. 

Disgusted,  as  S.  Thomas  says  in  his  preface,  at  the  exu- 
berance, the  disorder,  the  obscurity  of  the  scholastic  treatises 
then  extant,  he  had  conceived  the  plan  of  a  methodical  and 
luminous  summary,  which  should  contain  the  whole  of 
Christianity  from  the  existence  of  God  to  the  least  precept 
of  morality,  all  the  speculative  and  practical  points  of  re- 
vealed truth  following  in  natural  and  logical  order. 

The  saying  current  at  the  time,  that  "  some  proposition 
was  true  according  to  the  master,  Aristotle,  but  false  accord- 
ing to  the  Gospel,"  clearly  shows  the  antagonistic  attitude 
occupied  by  the  two  powers  in  the  opinion  of  the  schools. 

The  "  Summa  Theologise  "  is  divided  into  three  great  but 
unequal  parts ;  for  the  second,  much  larger  than  the  other 
two,  is  divided  into  two  distinct  sections. 

The  first  part  is  a  complete  treatise  on  all  existences,  and 



* * 

March?.]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  147 

especially  on  all  intellectual  existences,  from  that  intelligence 
which  is  infinite  in  its  nature  as  in  its  operations,  to  the 
intelligence  which  is  bounded  and  severed  by  matter.  It 
treats  of  God,  of  the  Holy  Angels,  their  qualities,  and  their 
abode,  and  of  the  Creation. 

The  first  section  of  the  second  part  contains  a  theory  of 
man.  It  treats  of  happiness,  as  man's  final  object,  of 
the  passions,  and  of  human  acts,  of  the  virtues  in  general, 
of  sins,  in  their  origin,  nature,  and  effects. 

The  second  section  is  closely  allied  to  the  first.  It  treats 
of  the  conditions  of  happiness  and  the  moral  laws,  the  three 
great  virtues,  Faith,  Hope,  and  Charity.  The  impulse  given 
to  the  soul  by  these  three  theological  virtues  communicates 
itself  to  the  moral  virtues  as  well ;  in  treating  of  them  afresh 
S.  Thomas  forms  a  universal  theory  of  human  duty. 

The  third  part  expounds  the  whole  plan  of  Redemption. 
After  having  studied  the  work  of  Redemption  in  itself,  S. 
Thomas  studies  it  in  its  application  to  each  individual.  Thus 
he  arrives  at  the  theory  of  the  Sacraments.  But  death  did  not 
give  him  time  to  finish  this  part  of  the  work.  It  is  inter- 
rupted where  he  treats  on  the  fourth  Sacrament,  that  of 
penance.  An  attempt  has  been  made  to  complete  it  by 
various  extracts  from  his  other  works,  but  one  misses  in  this 
compilation  the  living  hand  of  genius. 

Before  quitting  this  great  subject,  one  word  must  be  added 
on  S.  Thomas's  method.  It  may  be  defined  as  geometry 
applied  to  theology.  S.  Thomas  states,  first  of  all,  the 
theorem  he  is  about  to  develope,  or  the  problem  which  he 
proposes  to  solve.  Then  he  considers  the  difficulties  and 
solves  them.  He  follows  this  up  with  a  train  of  sustenta- 
tions  drawn  from  holy  writ,  tradition,  and  theological  reason, 
and  he  ends  by  a  categorical  answer  to  all  the  objections 
which  were  made  at  the  beginning.  This  order  is  invariably 
observed  in  every  part  of  the  work. 

jj, — * 

* _ — _* 

148  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

At  the  Council  of  Trent,  on  a  table  set  in  the  midst  of 
the  council  chamber,  was  placed  the  "  Summa,"  alongside 
of  the  Holy  Scriptures  and  the  decrees  of  the  popes. 
Well  might  Dante  declare  that  the  doctor  inhabits  a  sphere 
above  the  reach  of  praise,  or,  with  Lacordaire,  exclaim, 
that  "  God  alone  can  praise  this  great  man  in  the  eternal 
council  of  the  Saints." 

The  "Summa  Theologise"  occupied  the  last  nine 
years  of  our  saint's  life.  The  world  was  ignorant  of  the 
monument  which  was  being  raised  in  silence.  Thomas 
preached,  lectured,  wrote  as  before. 

About  this  time  William  of  S.  Amour  republished  his 
attack  upon  the  religious  orders,  under  the  fresh  title  of 
"  Collectiones  S.  Scripturse;"  our  saint  replied  to  it  by 
issuing  a  fresh  edition  of  his  defence  of  the  religious 
orders,  and  this  silenced  his  foe. 

During  these  nine  years,  Thomas  visited  several  towns  and 
convents  of  Italy.  At  Milan  he  wrote  an  epitaph  on  S.  Peter 
Martyr.  At  Bologna  he  lectured  with  his  usual  success 
on  theology. 

In  1267,  he  published  at  Bologna  a  work  on  the  duties 
of  kings,  but  his  task  was  interrupted  in  the  same  year  by 
the  death  of  his  royal  pupil,  Hugo  II.,  king  of  Cyprus. 

Jean  de  Verceil  had  just  sent  to  Thomas  a  famous  tract 
in  which  the  efficaciousness  of  the  sacrament  of  penance 
was  denied.  He  refuted  it  in  a  treatise  called  "  De  forma 
Absolutions,"  with  so  much  force  and  clearness  that  the 
Council  of  Trent  adopted  his  very  words  in  framing  their 

About  this  time  he  was  one  day  walking  in  the  cloister  of 
the  convent  at  Bologna,  plunged  in  deep  meditation,  when  a 
lay  brother,  who  did  not  know  him,  came  up  to  him  and 
said  that  he  was  obliged  to  go  out  on  some  matters  of 
business,  and  that  the  superior  had  given  him  leave  to  take 



* _ ^ 

March7.j  S.    Tlwmas  Aquinas.  149 

with  him  the  first  religious  he  met  S.  Thomas,  without 
excusing  himself  on  the  score  of  lameness  from  which  he 
was  then  suffering,  or  of  more  serious  engagements,  went 
cheerfully  with  the  lay  brother;  but  the  latter  walked  so 
fast,  that  Thomas  was  often  left  behind.  But  he  was  soon 
recognised,  and  the  escort  of  citizens  who  respectfully 
followed  the  saint,  opened  the  eyes  of  the  lay  brother. 
When  they  returned  to  the  convent,  the  lay  brother  threw 
himself  at  the  feet  of  Thomas  and  begged  his  pardon. 
Thomas  raised  him  from  the  ground,  saying,  "  It  is  not  your 
duty,  but  mine  to  make  an  apology;  for  I  ought  to  have 
remembered  that  my  sore  leg  would  not  let  me  walk  as  fast 
as  you  wanted." 

In  1269,  Thomas  was  summoned  to  Paris,  as  "definitor" 
of  the  Roman  province,  to  attend  the  general  chapter  of  his 
order.  S.  Thomas  prolonged  his  last  sojourn  in  Paris  for  a 
year  after  the  departure  of  S.  Louis  on  his  ill-fated  crusade,  in 
1270,  and  during  the  whole  time  he  continued  to  lecture, 
and  to  write  his  Summa. 

S.  Thomas  was  recalled  to  Bologna  by  his  superiors  early 
in  1 27 1.  Shortly  after  his  return  thither,  he  brought  the 
second  part  of  his  Summa  to  a  conclusion. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  year  1272,  the  chapter  general  of 
the  order  received  requests  from  nearly  all  the  universities 
of  Europe  that  S.  Thomas  might  lecture  in  them.  The 
decision  was  in  favour  of  Naples,  for  which  he  started  at 
once.  He  visited  Rome  on  his  way,  and  there  he  began 
the  last  part  of  the  Summa,  and  wrote  his  commentaries  on 
several  books  of  Boetius.  Whilst  he  was  explaining  that 
book  which  treats  of  the  Trinity,  the  candle  which  he  held  to 
light  him,  burnt  down  between  his  fingers,  and  scorched  them 
severely,  before  his  attention  was  aroused  from  his  work. 

After  leaving  Rome,  Thomas  and  his  inseparable  friend 
Rainald  were  entertained  at  the  villa  of  Cardinal  Richard, 


150  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  7. 

where  the  two  Rabbis  were  converted.  Here  Thomas 
fell  ill,  but  the  attack  was  slight,  and  quickly  passed  away. 

In  spite  of  all  the  precautions  of  Christian  humility,  his 
entry  into  Naples  was  a  triumph.  All  classes,  the  lettered 
and  the  unlettered,  the  great  and  the  small,  hurried  to 
welcome  him.  An  excited  yet  respectful  crowd  accompanied 
him  as  far  as  the  gates  of  that  Dominican  convent,  where  he 
had  embraced  religion.  What  would  Theodora  have  said 
if  she  had  seen  her  son  entering  in  triumph  that  same  house 
which  she  had  regarded  as  the  tomb  of  his  glory  ? 

The  king,  Charles  I.,  assigned  him  a  monthly  pension, 
rather  as  a  token  of  his  royal  favour,  than  as  a  reward  for  his 
services.  The  pilgrim  who  visits  the  Dominican  convent 
at  Naples,  sees  at  the  entrance  of  the  great  hall  a  represen- 
tation of  S.  Thomas,  and  beneath  it  an  inscription,  "  Before 
thou  enterest,  venerate  this  image  and  this  chair,  from  which 
Thomas  Aquinas  uttered  his  oracles  to  a  large  number  of 
disciples  for  the  glory  and  felicity  of  his  age." 

The  cardinal-legate  of  the  holy  see,  wished  to  have  an 
interview  with  our  saint,  and  invited  the  archbishop  of 
Capua,  an  old  pupil  of  S.  Thomas,  to  accompany  him. 
The  saint  on  being  told  of  their  arrival,  went  down  into  the 
cloister,  but  happening  to  be  absorbed  in  thought,  he  forgot 
the  object  for  which  he  had  been  summoned,  and  gravely 
continued  his  walk  without  taking  any  notice  of  them.  The 
cardinal  was  offended,  but  the  archbishop  explained  the 
cause  of  the  saint's  apparent  rudeness.  When  Thomas  woke 
from  his  reverie,  he  apologised,  laying  the  blame  on  his 
feebleness  of  mind,  which  had  not  allowed  him  to  find  the 
solution  of  a  theological  difficulty  without  trouble  and 
delay.  The  cardinal-legate  withdrew,  not  knowing  which 
to  admire  most,  the  learning,  or  the  humility,  of  the  doctor. 

During  the  short  space  of  a  year  and  a  half  S.  Thomas 
composed  the  549  articles,  which  are  all  that  we  have  of 

* * 

# * 

March  >.]  S.    Thomas  Aquinas.  151 

the  last  part  of  his  Summa.  Some  commentaries  on  divers 
passages  of  Holy  Wit  came  from  his  pen  at  the  same  time. 
The  fleeting  elements  of  this  world  faded  gradually  from  his 
thoughts ;  his  eye  was  fixed  on  other  horizons. 

The  transports  which  he  had  always  experienced  in 
prayer,  became  daily  more  frequent. 

Yielding  to  the  entreaties  of  his  friends,  to  the  vow  of 
obedience  which  he  had  taken,  contrary  to  the  inclination 
to  which  his  natural  humility  led  him,  he  revealed  some  of 
the  supernatural  favours  which  Heaven  had  vouchsafed  to 

Whilst  praying  in  the  church  at  Naples  one  day,  we  are 
told  that  Romanus,  whom  he  had  left  in  Paris  as  master  of 
theology,  stood  before  him.  S.  Thomas  approached  his  friend 
and  said,  "Welcome  here,  when  didst  thou  come?"  "I 
have  passed  from  this  life,"  replied  the  figure,  "  and  am  per- 
mitted to  appear  on  thine  account."  The  Angelical 
exclaimed,  "  I  adjure  thee  then  to  answer  me  these  ques- 
tions. How  do  I  stand  ?  Are  my  works  pleasing  to  God  ?" 
"  Thou  art  in  a  good  state,  and  thy  works  do  please  God," 
was  the  reply.  "  Then  what  about  thyself?"  enquired  the 
Angelical.  "  I  am  now  in  Eternal  Bliss,  but  I  have  been  in 
Purgatory  ?"  "  Tell  me,"  continued  Thomas,  "  whether  the 
habits  which  are  acquired  in  this  life  remain  to  us  in 
heaven  ?"  "  Brother  Thomas,"  was  the  reply,  "  I  see  God, 
and  do  not  ask  for  more."  "How  dost  thou  see  God," 
rejoined  the  saint,  "  dost  thou  see  Him  immediately,  or  by 
means  of  some  similitude  ?"  The  other  answered,  "  Like  as 
we  have  heard,  so  have  we  seen  in  the  city  of  the  Lord  of 
Hosts,"  Ps.  xlvii.  9,  (xlviii.  8,)  and  then  instantly  vanished. 

While  Thomas  was  writing  his  articles  on  the  fourth 
Sacrament,  he  was  praying  one  day  in  a  chapel  dedicated  to 
S.  Nicolas,  when,  as  the  story  goes,  the  figure  on  the  crucifix 
turned  towards  him  and  said,  "  Thomas,  Thou  hast  written 

* # 

*_^-^ ,— £, 

152  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March?. 

well  of  Me ;  what  reward  desirest  thou  ?"  "  Nought,  save 
Thyself,  Lord,"  was  the  saint's  spontaneous  reply. 

At  length  he  became  so  absorbed  in  Divine  things,  that 
even  the  "  Summa  "  itself  failed  to  interest  him.  He  ceased 
to  write,  after  a  marvellous  rapture  which  seized  him 
whilst  celebrating  mass  in  the  chapel  of  S.  Nicolas.  After 
this  mass,  he  did  not  sit  down  to  his  desk,  nor  would  he 
consent  to  dictate  anything.  When  Rainald  urged  him  to 
finish  the  "Summa,"  he  replied,  "I  cannot,  for  everything 
that  I  have  written  appears  to  me  worthless  compared  with 
what  I  have  seen,  and  what  has  been  revealed  to  me." 

Gregory  X.  wishing  to  carry  out  the  union  of  the  Greek 
and  Latin  churches,  summoned  S.  Thomas,  by  special  bull, 
to  the  Second  Council  of  Lyons,  and  requested  him  to  bring 
his  famous  treatise  with  him. 

Our  saint  set  out  with  Rainald  for  Lyons,  towards  the 
end  of  January,  1274.  His  health  was  feeble,  and  his  mind 
was  still  fixed  on  the  visions  of  another  world.  They 
travelled  by  way  of  the  Campagna,  and  called  at  the  castle 
of  Maienza,  in  the  diocese  of  Terracina,  where  Frances,  wife 
of  Hannibal  Ceccano,  niece  of  the  Angelic  Doctor,  resided. 
Here  the  saint  became  much  weaker,  and  did  not  rally.  He 
wholly  lost  his  appetite.  After  a  while  he  felt  himself  a  little 
stronger.  The  rumour  of  his  proximity  reached  the  Bene- 
dictine Abbey  of  Fossa  Nuova,  six  miles  from  the  castle. 
The  monks  came  to  invite  him  thither,  and  he  gladly 
accepted  the  invitation,  saying,  "  If  the  Lord  means  to  take 
me  away,  it  were  better  that  I  should  die  in  a  religious 
house,  than  in  the  midst  of  seculars." 

He  rode  in  their  midst  to  the  abbey ;  the  monks  helped 
him  to  dismount,  and  sustained  him  to  the  Church,  where 
he  knelt  in  silent  adoration.  Then  rising,  the  abbot  con- 
ducted him  through  the  church  into  the  cloister.  Then  the 
whole  past  seemed  to  break  in  upon  him  like  a  burst  of 

* 4, 

* — * 

March,.]  .S".    Thomas  Aquinas.  153 

overpowering  sunlight ;  the  calm  abbey,  the  meditative 
corridor,  the  gentle  Benedictine  monks,  recalled  to  him 
Monte  Cassino,  as  in  his  boyish  days.  Completely 
overcome  by  the  memories  of  the  past,  he  turned  to  the 
monks  accompanying  him,  and  exclaimed,  "  This  is  the 
place  where  I  shall  find  repose  •"  and  to  Rainald  he  said, 
"This  shall  be  my  rest  for  ever  and  ever  :  here  will  I  dwell, 
for  I  have  a  delight  therein."    (Ps.  cxxxi.  14,  a. v.,  cxxxii.  15.) 

His  fever  increasing,  he  was  conducted  to  the  abbot's  cell, 
which  out  of  respect  had  been  prepared  for  him.  Here, 
during  the  whole  of  his  illness,  which  lasted  about  a  month, 
the  community  watched  over  him  with  the  tenderness  and 
reverence  of  sons  towards  a  father.  They  excluded  all 
servants  from  waiting  on  him ;  even  the  wood  to  make  his 
fire  was  cut  down  in  the  forest  by  the  hands  of  the 
brethren,  and  borne  on  their  willing  shoulders  to  his 
hearth.  They  were  overjoyed  to  receive  him  into  their 
home,  and  to  minister  to  him  of  their  choicest  and  best. 
He,  patient  as  a  child,  knew  that  he  was  amongst  his 
own,  and  yearned  continually  for  his  release,  repeating  con- 
tinually the  words  of  S.  Augustine  :  "  So  long  as  in  me 
there  is  ought  which  is  not  wholly  Thine,  O  God,  suffer- 
ing and  sorrow  will  be  my  lot.  But  when  I  shall  be  Thine 
alone,  then  shall  I  be  filled  with  Thee,  and  wholly  set  at 

Knowing  how  illumined  this  man  of  God  was,  concerning 
the  union  of  the  soul  with  its  Beloved,  the  monks,  notwith- 
standing his  feeble  condition,  could  not  refrain  from  asking 
him  to  expound  to  them  the  Canticle  of  canticles.  Ever 
since  his  great  vision,  the  saint  had  put  aside  his  pen.  Still 
the  monks  implored  him,  reminding  how  blessed  Bernard 
had  done  the  like.  The  Angelical  Doctor  looked  at  them 
with  unutterable  gentleness,  and  said,  "Get  me  Bernard's 
spirit,  and  I  will  do  your  bidding."     Finally  he  yielded  to 

* — ■ * 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  7. 

them,  and  surrounding  the  bed  on  which  he  lay,  they  heard 
from  the  lips  of  the  dying  theologian,  his  last  lecture  and 

Growing  still  weaker,  S.  Thomas  foresaw  that  his  hour 
was  drawing  nigh.  He  sent  for  Rainald,  and  with  deep 
contrition  and  many  sighs  made  a  general  confession. 
Having  done  this,  he  begged  the  brethren  to  bring  him  the 
Body  of  our  Lord — that  Lord,  who  from  his  infancy,  had 
been  the  mainstay  of  his  life,  and  the  one  desire  of  his 
heart.  The  abbot,  accompanied  by  his  community,  came 
solemnly  bearing  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  Immediately  the 
great  Angelical  perceived  his  Master's  presence,  with  the 
help  of  the  brethren,  he  rose  from  the  pallet,  and  kneeling 
upon  the  floor,  adored  his  King  and  Saviour;  and  amidst 
the  sobs  of  the  monks,  he  made  his  act  of  faith  in  the  Real 
Presence  of  his  Lord.  When  he  had  made  an  end,  and  the 
abbot  was  on  the  point  of  administering  the  Saving  Host  to 
him,  he  exclaimed,  in  the  hearing  of  all  the  monks  :  "  I 
receive  Thee,  the  price  of  my  soul's  redemption,  for  love  of 
Whom  I  have  studied,  watched,  and  laboured.  Thee  have 
I  preached,  Thee  have  I  taught,  against  Thee  never  have 
I  breathed  a  word,  neither  am  I  wedded  to  my  own 
opinion.  If  I  have  held  ought  which  is  untrue  regarding 
this  blessed  Sacrament,  I  subject  it  to  the  judgment  of  the 
Holy  Roman  Church,  in  whose  obedience  I  now  pass  out 
of  life."  Then,  as  the  abbot  lifted  up  the  spotless  Host 
to  administer  to  him,  with  a  torrent  of  tears  he  uttered  his 
favourite  ejaculation  :  "  Thou,  O  Christ,  art  the  King  of 
Glory  :  Thou  art  the  everlasting  Son  of  the  Father  !"  and 
received  upon  his  tongue  the  Bread  of  Heaven.  As  the 
end  was  approaching,  the  abbot  with  the  brethren  watched 
about  his  bed ;  and  those  senses,  which  had  served  their 
Master  with  such  generous  loyalty,  were  one  by  one 
anointed  with  sacred  unction  by  loving  Benedictine  hands 




March »o  .S.    T/wmas  Aquinas.  155 

at  his  request,  whilst  he,  quite  conscious  of  what  was  going 
on,  answered  "Amen"  to  the  prayers  of  the  minister  of 

The  brethren,  with  untold  tenderness  and  reverence, 
followed  his  countenance  with  their  eyes,  and  watched  life 
gradually  ebbing  away. 

He  was  taken  from  exile  in  the  early  morning  of  the  7th 
of  March,  1274,  in  the  prime  of  manhood,  being  scarcely 
forty-eight  years  of  age. 

The  religious  of  Fossa  Nuova  committed  all  that  was 
mortal  of  S.  Thomas  to  its  resting  place  with  the  honour 
due  to  the  remains  of  such  a  saint,  and  such  a  genius.  The 
whole  country  side  followed  him  mourning.  The  superior 
of  the  convent,  a  blind  old  man,  was  led  to  the  side  of  the 
corpse  to  pay  it  a  last  tribute  of  respect.  Seized  with  a 
sudden  impulse  of  faith,  he  placed  his  sightless  eyes  to 
those  of  our  saint,  and  the  blind  eyes  of  the  dead  restored 
the  vision  of  the  living  monk.  Rainald  with  tears,  and 
choked  with  emotion,  pronounced  a  funeral  elegy  over  his 
master  and  friend,  before  he  was  laid  at  rest  in  the  convent 
church.     Many  other  miracles  were  wrought  by  his  body. 

On  Sunday,  Jan.  28th,  1369,  his  relics  were  deposited 
with  great  pomp  at  Toulouse,  where  they  still  repose  in  the 
Church  of  S.  Sernan.  The  king,  Charles  V.,  wished  his  arm 
to  be  brought  to  Paris,  and  he  received  it  on  his  knees 
in  the  chapel  royal,  which  he  had  built  for  it  at  S. 
James's  convent.  This  relic  was  at  the  French  Revolution 
taken  to  Italy. 



156  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  8. 

March  8. 

S.  Pontius,  D.  at  Carthage,  circ.  a.d.  262. 

SS.  Philemon  and  Apollonius,  MM.  at  Antinoe,  in  Egypt,  a.d.  305. 

SS.  Cyril,  B.M.,  Rogatus,  Felix,  and  Others,  MM.  in  Africa. 

S.  Quintillus,  B.M.  at  Nicomedia. 

S.  Senan,  of  Iniscatthy,  B.  Ab.  in  Ireland,  circ.  A.D.  $46.  , 

S.  Felix,  B.  among  the  East  Saxons,  a.d.  654. 

S.  Julian,  B.  of  Toledo,  a.d.  690. 

S.  Theophylact,  B.C.  at  Nicomedia,  a.d.  845, 

S.  Humphrey,  B.  of  Therouane,  a.d.  871. 

S.  DUTHAC,   B.  Of  ROSS,  A.D.   I2$0. 

S.  John  of  God,  C.  at  Granada,  a.d.  i5$o. 


(A.D.    305.) 

[By  the  Greeks  on  December  14th.  By  the  Latins  on  March  8th.  Arian 
and  Theotychus,  who  are  included  in  the  Roman  Martyrology,  are  not  men- 
tioned in  any  ancient  Martyrologies  except  that  of  Usuardus.  Authority: — 
Tru  Acts,  which  as  they  now  ex:st,  are  very  corrupt.  The  original  Acts 
have  apparently  been  made  a  foundation  to  which  a  later  Greek  writer  has 
added  a  superstructure  of  fable.  The  conversion  and  the  martyrdom  of 
the  governor  Arian  has  all  the  appearance  of  being  an  addition  by  a  later 
hand,  to  complete  the  story,  for  the  fabulous  Greek  Acts  generally  wind  up 
with  the  conversion  or  destruction  of  the  judge.  This  seems  to  have  been 
regarded  as  the  proper  conclusion  of  every  martyrdom. J 

[RIANUS   the   judge,    who   had   condemned   S. 

Asclas  (Jan.  23rd)  to  a  cruel  death,  at  Antinoe 

in   Upper  Egypt,  did  not  leave  the  place   till 

many  other  Christians  had  suffered  by  his  orders. 

Now  there  was  at  Antinoe  a  deacon  named  Apollonius, 

who  feared  torture,  being  by  nature  of  a  highly  sensitive  and 

timorous  constitution,  and  when   the  governor  had  given 

orders  that  every  inhabitant  should  appear  before  him  and 

sacrifice,  he  went  to  Philemon,  a  stage  piper  and  dancer, 

and  offered  him  money  if  he  would  go  and  sacrifice  in  his 




March  s.]       ^SVS*.   Philemon  &  Apollomus.  157 

name,  and  bring  him  a  ticket  to  the  effect  that  Apollonius 
had  sacrificed.  Christians  who  thus  acted  were  called 
libellatics  ;  and  on  the  return  of  tranquillity  were  put  to 
penance,  but  were  not  regarded  in  the  same  light  as  apos- 
tates. Philemon  asked  Apollonius  for  one  of  his  hooded 
cloaks,  which  would  conceal  his  face,  and  then  went  before 
the  judge. 

Then  Arian  said,  "  Well,  fellow,  what  art  thou  ?  A  Chris- 
tian perhaps,  muffled  thus,  as  if  thou  fearedst  to  be  seen." 

Philemon,  filled  with  the  grace  of  God,  answered  gravely, 
"  Yes,  my  lord,  I  am  a  Christian." 

"  Thou  knowest  the  choice  that  is  set  before  thee,  torture 
or  sacrifice,"  said  the  magistrate. 

"  I  will  not  sacrifice,"  answered  the  piper,  "  I  saw  how, 
by  the  power  of  God,  Asclas  held  thee  stationary  in  the 
midst  of  the  river." 

Then  Arian,  leaning  back  in  his  seat,  said  to  his  officers, 
"Send  for  Philemon  the  piper ;  perchance  his  sweet  melodies 
will  drive  away  the  fancies  of  this  fool,  and  allure  him  to  the 
worship  of  our  gods."  But  Philemon  was  not  to  be  found  ; 
then  his  brother  Theonas  was  brought  in,  and  Arian  asked 
him  where  was  the  piper  Philemon.  Theonas,  looking  intently 
at  the  prisoner,  said,  "  That  is  he."  Then  the  hood  was 
plucked  off  the  face  of  Philemon,  and  the  cloak  drawn  from 
his  shoulders,  and  it  was  the  merry  piper  shod  with  his  gay 
buskins,  and  with  the  tuneful  reeds  in  his  hands.  Arian 
laughed  heartily,  and  exclaimed  that  this  was  a  rare  joke. 
"  We  make  no  account  of  all  this,  man  !"  said  he,  "  for  to  this 
thou  wast  born,  and  to  this  bred,  that  thou  shouldst  shake 
our  sides  with  laughter.     Now  sacrifice,  and  end  the  farce." 

But  Philemon  steadfastly  refused,  and  Arian  saw  that  no 
jest  was  meant,  but  that  this  was  sober  earnest.  So  putting 
on  an  angry  look,  he  said,  "  It  is  foolery  for  thee  to  pass 
thyself  off  as  a  Christian,  piper  1  for  thou  art  not  baptized." 


158  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 8. 

Then  the  poor  man  was  filled  with  tribulation,  and  in  his 
doubt  and  grief  he  cried  to  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  to  accept 
and  baptize  him.  And  as  he  prayed,  there  came  down  a 
soft  sparkling  spring  shower,  and  the  piper,  stretching  his 
hands  to  heaven,  cried  joyously,  "He  has  heard  me,  and 
has  baptized  me  in  the  cloud  1" x  And  he  took  his  pipes 
and  broke  them  up,  and  cast  them  away.  Now  the  officer 
had  taken  the  deacon  Apollonius,  and  they  brought  him 
before  Arian,  who  reproached  him  for  his  cowardice;  the 
deacon  in  shame  admitted  that  he  had  done  wrong.  "  But 
now,"  said  he,  in  a  firm  voice,  "  know  that  I  will  not 
sacrifice."  Then  the  judge  ordered  him  and  Philemon 
to  be  executed  with  the  sword. 

So  far  the  Acts  seem  to  be  trustworthy,  but  what 
follows  is  fabulous ;  some  of  these  incidents  shall 
however  be  given.  Philemon  before  his  execution, 
bade  the  officers  bring  a  brass  pot,  and  put  a  baby  in 
it,  cover  it,  and  take  aim  at  it  with  their  arrows.  The  pot 
was  soon  transfixed  ;  but  when  it  was  opened,  the  child 
within  was  found  unhurt.  Then  Philemon  said,  "  Like  that 
vessel  is  a  Christian's  body,  riddled  with  wounds,  but  the 
soul  within,  like  that  infant,  is  unharmed."  And  when  the 
governor  ordered  a  flight  of  arrows  to  be  discharged  at  him, 
he  raised  his  hand,  and  the  arrows  remained  stationary  in 
the  air,  but  one  returning  put  out  the  eye  of  Arian.  Then 
Philemon  said,  "  When  I  am  dead,  go  to  my  grave,  and 
make  clay  of  the  dust  there,  and  anoint  thine  eye,  and 
it  will  be  restored  whole." 

This  Arian  does  and  is  healed,  and  in  consequence 
converted.  Then  Dioclesian,  hearing  of  his  conversion, 
sends   four   officers    to  judge   him,  and  these  in  turn  are 

1  There  are  several  versions  of  this  event.  According  to  one,  the  judge  and  assist- 
ants were  blinded  whilst  Philemon  was  carried  to  the  river  and  baptized  by  a 
priest.  But  his  prayer  afterwards,  "  Thou  hast  baptized  me  in  the  cloud,"  proves 
this  to  have  been  an  interpolation. 

* & 


March  8.]  S.  Se7ian  of  Iniscatthy.  159 

converted,  and  finally  Arian  and  the  four  officers  are  sewn 
up  in  sacks  and  flung  into  the  sea.  All  this  may  safely  be 
rejected  as  fabulous. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    546.) 

[Irish  Martyrologies.  He  died  on  March  ist,  but  was  buried  on  the  8th, 
on  which  day  his  festival  is  kept.  His  name  occurs  in  the  Festology  of 
S.  ^Engus.  Authorities  : — A  life  written  by  S.  Colman,  versified  by  a  later 
hand,  and  full  of  fables,  also  an  Irish  life  written  in  the  12th  cent.] 

Senan  was  a  native  of  Corco-baskin,  a  district  in  the 
western  part  of  Thomond.1  His  parents  were  Christians 
and  noble.  Ercan,  his  father,  is  said  to  have  been  of  the 
royal  blood  of  Conary  I.,  king  of  Ireland.  Coemgalla,  his 
mother,  was  likewise  of  an  illustrious  Munster  family.  An 
odd  legend  of  his  childhood  is  told.  His  parents  were 
moving  house,  and  Senan  remained  immersed  in  prayer, 
lending  no  hand  to  the  work.  Then  his  mother,  provoked, 
threw  some  water  over  him  to  wake  him  up,  and  scolded 
him  soundly.  Senan  resumed  his  devotions,  and  instantly 
the  pots  and  pans  of  the  domestic  establishment  came  flying 
through  the  air  from  the  kitchen  of  the  old  house  into  the 
kitchen  of  the  new  one. 

When  arrived  at  a  certain  age,  he  was  forced  by  the 
prince  of  Corco-baskin  to  join  in  an  expedition  undertaken 
against  the  territory  of  Corcomroe,  for  the  purpose  of 
carrying  off  plunder.  This  did  not  suit  the  disposition  of 
young  Senan,  and  accordingly  he  contrived  to  avoid  taking 
any  share  in  the  devastation  of  the  country.  He  was  re- 
warded for  this,  for,  when  the  party  to  which  he  belonged 
was  routed  with  great  loss,  and  he  had  fallen  into  the  hands 

1  In  the  county  Clare. 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  8. 

of  their  opponents,  he  was  allowed  to  depart  without  injury, 
and  go  whithersoever  he  pleased.  He  therefore  placed 
himself  under  the  abbot  Cassidan,  and  having  received  from 
him  the  monastic  habit,  became  a  proficient  in  piety  and 
learning.  Next  he  repaired  to  the  monastery  of  S.  Natalis,  or 
Naal,  with  whom  he  spent  some  years.  Several  legends  are 
connected  with  this  period.  He  had  to  keep  cows,  and  one 
day  seeing  the  calves  sucking  them,  and  dreading  lest  there 
should  be  a  deficiency  of  milk  for  the  brethren,  he  put  his 
stick  between  them,  and  neither  could  approach  the  other. 
Another  story  is  to  the  effect  that  he  read  at  night  using  the 
fingers  of  his  left  hand  as  candles, — a  story  told  also  of  S. 
Columba,  S.  Kentigern,  and  other  Irish  and  Scottish  saints. 
A  monk  observed  him  ;  then  Senan  said,  "  For  peeping  and 
prying,  a  stork  shall  peck  out  your  eye."  And  as  the  monk 
left  the  place,  a  stork  rushed  at  him,  and  had  one  of  his  eye 
balls  out  in  a  trice.  But  when  S.  Natalis  heard  of  this,  he 
ordered  Senan  to  replace  the  eye,  and  cure  it  instantly,  and 
this  he  did.  After  Senan  had  left  the  monastery  of  S.  Naal, 
he  is  said  to  have  gone  into  foreign  parts,  to  have  visited 
Rome  and  Tours,  and  on  his  return  to  have  tarried  with 
S.  David  of  Menevia,  with  whom  he  continued  very  intimate 
until  his  death.  Senan's  first  establishment  was  at  Inis-Carra, 
near  the  river  Lee,  about  five  miles  from  Cork,  in  the  barony 
of  Barrets.  While  he  was  in  that  place,  a  vessel  arrived 
in  Cork  harbour,  bringing  fifty  religious  persons,  passengers 
from  the  continent,  who  came  to  Ireland  for  the  purpose  of 
improving  themselves  in  monastic  studies.  Senan  retained 
ten  of  them  with  himself,  the  others  were  distributed  in 
various  establishments.  He  was  not  long  at  Inis-Carra, 
before  Lugadh,  prince  of  that  country,  insisted  on  his  sub- 
mitting to  certain  exactions,  which  Senan  refused  to  comply 
with.  The  dispute  was  soon  settled  through  the  interference 
of   two  young  noblemen,  who  were  then  at  the  court  of 



March  8.  S.  Senan  of  Iniscatthy.  161 

Lugadh.  Not  long  after,  Senan,  having  left  eight  of  his 
disciples  at  Inis-Carra,  went  to  Inis-luinge,  an  island  in  the 
Shannon,  where,  having  erected  a  church,  he  gave  the  veil 
to  the  daughter  of  Brendan,  the  prince  of  that  country. 
Thence,  setting  out  by  water  to  Inis-mor,  he  was  driven  by 
adverse  winds  to  an  island  called  Inis-tuaiscert.  Thinking 
that  it  was  a  special  providence  which  had  brought  him 
there,  he  erected  a  church,  and  left  it  to  the  care  of  some 
of  his  disciples.  He  then  made  his  way  to  Inis-mor,1  and 
there  founded  a  monastery,  which  he  governed  for  some 
time.  We  afterwards  find  him  settled  in  the  island  of  Inis- 
cathaig,  now  Iniscatthy,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Shannon,  where 
he  erected  a  monastery  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  Mactael, 
the  prince  of  the  country.  One  of  his  rules  was  that  no 
females  should  be  admitted  into  the  island.  This  regulation 
was  observed  even  with  regard  to  the  most  saintly  virgins. 
S.  Kannera,  a  nun  of  Bantry,  wished  to  receive  the  Holy 
Viaticum  from  the  hands  of  Senan,  and  to  be  buried  at 
Iniscatthy.  Accordingly  she  set  out  for  the  island,  but,  just 
as  she  drew  near,  Senan  met  her,2  and  obstinately  refused 
to  allow  her  to  land,  and  requested  her  to  go  to  the 
house  of  his  mother,  who  lived  not  far  distant,  and  was  re- 
lated to  Kannera.  The  conversation  given  in  the  metrical 
life  between  the  abbot  and  the  dying  nun,  is  very  quaint 
The  abbot  said,  "What  have  monks  in  common  with 
women  ?  We  will  not  let  you  step  on  to  our  island."  She 
said,  "  But  if  Christ  will  receive  my  spirit,  why  should  you 
reject  my  body  ?"  "  That,"  answered  the  venerable  Senan, 
"  is  true ;  but  for  all  that  I  will  not  suffer  you  to  come  here, 
go  back,  and  do  not  be  a  plague  to  us.     You  may  be  pure 

'  Inchmore,  or  Deer  Island,  in  the  river  Fergus,  where  this  river  joins  the 

•  According  to  the  legend,  an  angel  brought  her  to  Iniscatthy,  and  S.  Senan  ran 
out  over  the  water,  stick  in  hand,  to  arrest  her. 

VOL.    III.  II 


1 62  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 8. 

enough  in  soul,  but  you  are  a  woman,  nevertheless."  "  I 
will  die,  before  I  go  back  I"  said  S.  Kannera.  Like  many 
another  woman,  she  gained  her  point,  and,  dying  on  the 
shore,  was  there  buried. 

Senan  was  a  bishop  when  he  founded  his  monastery  of 
Iniscatthy,  but  when,  or  by  whom  he  was  consecrated,  we 
are  not  informed.  It  is  related  that,  perceiving  the  time  of  his 
departure  draw  nigh,  he  determined  to  go  to  the  monastery 
of  S.  Cassidus,  and  to  the  nunnery  of  S.  Scotia,  his  paternal 
aunt,  that  he  might  apply  himself  more  fervently  to  prayer 
in  these  retreats,  and  prepare  himself  for  his  wished-for  de- 
parture. On  his  way  thither  he  turned  off  a  little  towards 
the  church  of  Kill-eochaille,  for  the  purpose  of  visiting  cer- 
tain holy  virgins,  the  daughters  of  one  Naereus,  who  had 
received  the  veil  from  him.  Having  performed  his  devotions 
in  the  church  of  S.  Cassidus,  he  was  returning  to  Iniscatthy, 
when,  in  a  field  near  the  church  of  Kill-eochaille,  he  heard 
a  voice  announcing  to  him  that  he  was  to  be  removed  to 
heaven  without  delay.  Accordingly,  he  died  on  that  very 
day,  and  his  body  remained  at  Kill-eochaille  until  the  next, 
when  several  of  the  principal  members  of  his  monastery 
arrived,  and  had  it  brought  to  Iniscatthy.  Notice  of  his 
death  was  then  sent  to  the  prelates,  clergy,  and  principal 
persons  of  the  neighbouring  churches,  and  his  obsequies 
were  celebrated  on  the  octave.  A  foolish  story,  incorporated 
in  some  of  the  martyrologies,  relates  that  on  the  day  of  his 
burial,  as  he  was  being  carried  to  the  grave,  he  sat  up  and 
informed  the  assistants  that  his  anniversary  was  to  be  cele- 
brated on  the  8th  March,  instead  of  the  ist.  The  year  of 
his  death  is  unknown ;  but  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  it 
was  later  than  544,  the  date  assigned  to  it  by  some  writers. 
The  reputation  of  S.  Senan  has  not  been  confined  to  Ireland, 
and  his  Acts  have  been  published  among  those  of  the  saints 
of  Brittany,  by  Albert  le  Grand,  as  one  of  the  chief  patrons 


March  8.]  ,S.     Felix.  1 63 

of  the  diocese  of  S.  Pol  de  Leon ;  but  the  S.  Sand  there 
venerated  seems  not  to  be  the  same,  but  some  local  saint  of 
whom  nothing  is  known. 

S.  FELIX,  B. 

(a.d.  654.) 

[Roman  and  Gallican  Martyrologies.  Salisbury  Breviary,  and  more 
modern  Anglican  Martyrologies.  Also  Molanus  and  Greven,  in  their  addi- 
tion to  Usuardus.     Authorities  : — Bede  and  Malmesbury.] 

S.  Felix  was  a  native  of  Burgundy,  where  he  made  the 
acquaintance  of  Sigebert,  prince  of  the  East  Angles,  who 
had  been  banished  by  Redwald.  This  prince  was  instructed 
in  the  Christian  faith,  and  was  baptized  by  Felix,  at  that  time 
a  priest.  Some  time  after  this,  upon  the  death  of  his  half- 
brother,  king  Espenwald,  the  son  of  Redwald,  who  had  been 
killed  at  the  instigation  of  the  cruel  Penda,  king  of  Mercia, 
Sigebert  was  called  to  England  to  succeed  to  the  kingdom, 
and  he  made  it  his  care  to  introduce  Christianity  among  the 
East  Angles,  who  occupied  Norfolk,  Suffolk,  and  Cambridge- 
shire. For  this  purpose  he  invited  S.  Felix  to  his  court,  and 
he,  without  demur,  quitted  country,  friends,  and  home,  to 
preach  the  faith  to  an  uncivilized  pagan  people.  But  first 
he  visited  Honorius,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and  from 
him  he  received  his  mission  to  the  East  Angles,  and,  as 
some  say,  his  episcopal  consecration.  King  Sigebert  ap- 
pointed Dunwich,  on  the  Suffolk  coast,  as  the  headquarters 
of  his  mission.  Felix  went  about,  preaching,  founding 
churches  and  schools,  and,  through  his  exertions,  the  Chris- 
tian faith  took  deep  root  in  the  land.  Some  attribute  to 
him  the  foundation  of  the  first  school  at  Cambridge. 

S.  Felix  lived  till  after  the  year  650,  and  having  discharged 
the  duty  of  a  most  zealous  pastor  of  souls  for  the  space  of 


164  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

seventeen  years,  he  departed  to  the  Lord,  and  was  buried 
in  his  church  of  Dunwich,  from  which  place  his  body  was 
afterwards  translated  to  Soham,  near  Ely,  and  thence  to  the 
abbey  of  Ramsey. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    1250.) 

[Aberdeen  Breviary.     Authorities  : — Leslie,  Dempster,  and  the  lections 
in  the  Aberdeen  Breviary.] 

S.    Duthac  was  a   member    of    an   illustrious   Scottish 
family.     Several  legends  are  told  of  his  life  in  the  Aberdeen 
Breviary,  and  little  else  is  known  of  his  acts.     For  instance, 
when  a  child,  he  was  sent  by  his  mother  to  bring  fire  from  a 
forge,  as  all  the  fires  in  the  house  were  extinguished.     The 
blacksmith,  in  brutal  jest,  put  some  red-hot  charcoal  in  the 
lap  of  the  child,  and  Duthac  brought  the  glowing  embers 
thus  to  his  mother.     He  was  afterwards  in  Ireland,  where 
he  studied,  and  on  his  return  was  appointed  to  the  bishopric 
of  Ross.     One  day  he  was  dining  with  a  noble,  and  a  guest 
becoming   very  drunk,   gave  his  gold  ring  and  a  slice  of 
meat  to  one  of  Duthac's  disciples,   ordering  him  to  take 
them  to  his  home.       The  disciple  was  on  his  way,  when 
passing  through  a  churchyard,  he  laid  down  the  meat  and 
the  ring,    whilst  he  said   a  prayer  for  the  repose  of  the 
souls  of  those  who  lay  there.       At  that  moment  a  kite 
swooped  down  and  carried  off  ring  and  meat.     The  young 
man  ran  to  S.  Duthac  in  dismay,  and  the  bishop  summoned 
the  kite,  which  obeyed,  and  bringing  the  meat  and  the  ring, 
deposited  them  at  his  feet     Duthac  took  the  ring  and  gave 
it  to  the  young  man,  but  allowed  the  kite  to  consume  the 
meat.     On  the  feast  of  S.  Finbar,  a  canon  at  Dornock  slew 
a  fat  ox,  roasted  it,  and  distributed  slices  amongst  the  poor. 
"  Surely  some  one  will  take  Duthac  his  share  of  the  beef," 


March  8.]  .S".    J ohtl  of   God.  I  65 

said  the  canon.  Then  a  man  offered  himself,  and  lo !  as  he 
travelled  by  night  with  the  meat  for  the  bishop,  a  light  like 
that  of  a  lamp  shone  on  his  way,  guiding  him ;  and  thus 
the  bishop  received  his  share  before  it  had  lost  its  freshness. 

S.  JOHN  OF  GOD,  C. 

(a.d.   1550.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  :— His  Life,  written  twenty-five  years 
after  his  death.] 

S.  John,  surnamed  of  God,  was  born  in  Portugal,  in 
1495.  His  parents  were  of  the  lowest  rank,  but  good  and 
pious  people.  John  spent  a  considerable  part  of  his  youth 
in  service,  under  the  chief  shepherd  of  the  count  of  Oro- 
peusa,  in  Castile,  and  in  great  innocence  and  virtue.  In 
1522,  he  enlisted  himself  in  a  company  of  foot  soldiers, 
raised  by  the  count,  and  served  in  the  wars  between  the 
French  and  Spaniards  ;  and  afterwards  in  Hungary,  against 
the  Turks,  whilst  the  emperor  Charles  V.  was  king  of  Spain. 
By  the  licentiousness  of  his  companions,  he  by  degrees  lost 
his  fear  of  offending  God,  grew  careless,  and  fell  into  many 
grievous  sins.  The  troop  to  which  he  belonged  having  been 
disbanded,  he  went  into  Andalusia  in  1536,  where  he  entered 
the  service  of  a  rich  lady  near  Seville,  as  a  shepherd.  He 
was  now  about  forty  years  of  age,  and  being  stung  with 
remorse  for  his  past  misconduct,  he  resolved  to  amend  his 
life  and  do  penance  for  his  sins.  He  accordingly  employed 
the  greatest  part  of  his  time,  both  by  day  and  night,  in  the 
exercises  of  prayer  and  mortification ;  bewailing  his  in- 
gratitude towards  God,  and  deliberating  how  he  could  best 
dedicate  himself  to  His  service.  His  compassion  for  the 
distressed  moved  him  to  pass  into  Africa,  that  he  might 
there  comfort  and  succour  the  slaves,  not  without  hopes  of 



1 66  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March*. 

meeting  with  the  crown  of  martyrdom.  At  Gibraltar  he 
met  a  Portuguese  gentleman  condemned  to  banishment, 
whose  estate  had  been  confiscated  by  king  John  III.  He 
was  then  in  the  hands  of  the  king's  officers,  together  with 
his  wife  and  children,  and  was  on  his  way  to  Ceuta  in  Bar- 
bary,  the  place  of  his  exile.  John,  out  of  compassion, 
served  him  without  wages.  At  Ceuta  the  gentleman  fell 
sick,  and  was  reduced  to  dispose  of  the  small  remains  of 
his  shattered  fortune  for  the  support  of  his  wife  and  children, 
who  were  with  him  in  exile.  John,  not  content  to  sell  what 
little  stock  he  had  to  relieve  them,  hired  himself  as  a  day 
labourer  at  the  public  works  to  earn  all  he  could  for  their 
subsistence.  The  apostasy  of  one  of  his  companions 
alarmed  him,  and  his  confessor  telling  him  that  his  going  in 
quest  of  martyrdom  was  an  illusion,  he  determined  to  return 
to  Spain.  Coming  back  to  Gibraltar,  his  piety  suggested  to 
him  to  turn  pedler,  and  sell  little  sacred  pictures  and  books 
of  devotion,  which  might  furnish  him  with  opportunities  of 
exhorting  his  customers  to  virtue.  His  stock  increasing 
considerably,  he  settled  in  Granada,  where  he  opened  a 
shop  in  1538,  being  then  forty-three  years  of  age. 

The  great  preacher  and  servant  of  God,  John  D'Avila, 
surnamed  the  Apostle  of  Andalusia,  preached  that  year  at 
Granada,  on  S.  Sebastian's  day,  which  is  there  kept  as  a 
great  festival.  John  having  heard  his  sermon,  was  so 
affected  with  it,  that,  melting  into  tears,  he  filled  the  whole 
church  with  his  cries,  beating  his  breast,  and  calling  aloud 
for  mercy.  Then,  frenzied  with  compunction,  he  ran  about 
the  streets,  tearing  his  hair,  and  behaving  in  such  a  manner 
that  he  was  followed  by  the  rabble  with  sticks  and  stones, 
and  came  home  besmeared  with  dirt  and  blood.  He  then 
gave  away  all  that  he  had  in  the  world,  and  having  thus 
reduced  himself  to  absolute  poverty,  continued  his  frantic 
racing  about  the  streets  as  before,  till  some  had  the  charity 

•* * 


March s.]  .S*.  John  of  God.  167 

to  take  him  to  the  venerable  John  D'Avila,  covered  with 
dirt  and  blood.  The  holy  man  spoke  to  him  in  private, 
heard  his  general  confession,  gave  him  proper  advice, 
and  promised  his  assistance.  John  returned  soon  after  to 
his  extravagances.  He  was,  thereupon,  taken  up  and  put 
into  a  madhouse,  on  supposition  of  his  being  disordered  in 
his  senses,  where,  according  to  the  barbarous  practice  of 
the  time,  the  severest  methods  were  employed  to  bring  him 
to  himself.  He  underwent  all  the  pains  inflicted  on  him  as 
an  atonement  for  the  sins  of  his  past  life.  D'Avila  being 
informed  of  his  conduct,  came  to  visit  him,  and  found  him 
reduced  almost  to  the  grave  by  weakness  ;  and  his  body 
covered  with  wounds  and  sores ;  but  his  soul  was  still  vigor- 
ous, and  thirsting  after  new  sufferings  and  humiliations. 
D'Avila,  however,  told  him  that  being  sufficiently  exercised 
in  so  singular  a  method  of  penance  and  humiliation,  he  had 
better  employ  himself  for  the  time  to  come  in  something 
more  conducive  to  his  own  and  the  public  good.  His  ex- 
hortation had  its  desired  effect ;  and  John  became  at  once 
calm,  to  the  great  astonishment  of  his  keepers.  He  con- 
tinued, however,  some  time  longer  in  the  hospital  serving 
the  sick,  but  left  it  entirely  on  S.  Ursula's  day,  in  1539. 
He  then  thought  of  executing  his  design  of  doing  some- 
thing for  the  relief  of  the  poor ;  and,  after  a  pilgrimage  to 
Our  Lady  of  Guadalupe,  to  recommend  himself  and  his 
undertaking  to  her  intercession,  he  began  to  sell  wood  in  the 
market-place,  and  expend  the  proceeds  in  feeding  the  poor, 
Soon  after  he  hired  a  house  in  which  to  shelter  poor  sick 
persons,  whom  he  served  and  provided  for  with  such  ardour, 
prudence,  and  economy,  that  it  surprised  the  whole  city. 
This  was  the  foundation  of  the  Order  of  Charity,  in  1540, 
which,  by  the  benediction  of  heaven,  has  since  been  spread 
all  over  Christendom.  John  was  occupied  all  day  in  serving 
his  patients ;  in  the  night  he  went  out  to  find  new  objects  of 


r68  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

charity,  rather  than  to  seek  provisions  for  them ;  for  people  of 
their  own  accord  brought  him  in  all  necessaries  for  his  little 
hospital.  The  archbishop  of  Granada,  highly  pleased  with 
the  discipline  and  order  maintained  in  the  establishment, 
gave  largely  towards  its  support,  and  his  example  was  followed 
by  others.  Indeed,  the  charity,  patience,  and  modesty  of 
S.  John,  and  his  wonderful  care  and  foresight,  made  every 
one  admire  and  favour  the  institution.  The  bishop  of 
Tuy,  president  of  the  royal  court  of  judicature  in  Granada, 
having  invited  the  holy  man  to  dinner,  put  several  questions 
to  him,  to  all  of  which  he  answered  in  such  a  manner,  as 
gave  the  bishop  the  highest  opinion  of  his  prudence  and 
good  sense.  It  was  this  prelate  who  gave  him  the  name 
of  John  of  God,  and  prescribed  him  a  kind  of  habit,  though 
S.  John  never  thought  of  founding  a  religious  order ;  for  the 
rules  which  bear  his  name  were  drawn  up  only  in  1556,  six 
years  after  his  death ;  and  religious  vows  were  not  intro- 
duced among  his  brethren  before  the  year  1570. 

To  make  trial  of  the  saint's  disinterestedness,  the  marquis 
of  Tarifa  came  to  him  in  disguise  to  beg  an  alms,  on  pre- 
tence of  a  necessary  law-suit,  and  received  from  his  hands 
twenty-five  ducats,  which  was  all  he  had.  The  marquis  was 
so  much  edified  by  his  charity,  that,  besides  returning  the 
sum,  he  bestowed  on  him  one  hundred  and  fifty  crowns  of 
gold,  and  sent  to  his  hospital  every  day,  during  his  stay  at 
Granada,  one  hundred  and  fifty  loaves,  four  sheep,  and  six 
pullets.  But  the  holy  man  gave  a  still  more  illustrious  proof 
of  his  charity  when  the  hospital  was  on  fire ;  for  he  carried 
out  most  of  the  sick  on  his  own  back ;  and  though  he  passed 
and  repassed  through  the  flames,  and  staid  in  the  midst  of 
them  a  considerable  time,  he  received  no  hurt.  But  his 
charity  was  not  confined  to  his  own  hospital ;  he  looked 
upon  it  as  his  own  misfortune  if  the  necessities  of  any  dis- 
tressed person  in  the  country  remained  unrelieved.     He, 

if, 4, 

S.  JOHN   OF  GOD.     After  Cahier. 

March,  p.  168.] 

[March  8. 


March  8.] 

S.  John  of  God. 



therefore,  made  strict  inquiry  into  the  wants  of  the  poor 
over  the  whole  province,  relieved  many  in  their  own  houses, 
found  employment  for  those  that  were  able  to  work,  and 
with  wonderful  sagacity  laid  himself  out  in  every  way  to 
comfort  and  assist  the  afflicted  members  of  Christ.  He  was 
particularly  active  and  vigilant  in  providing  for  young 
maidens  in  distress,  to  prevent  the  dangers  to  which  they 
are  often  exposed.  He  also  reclaimed  many  who  were 
already  leading  a  course  of  sin,  seeking  them  out,  crucifix 
in  hand,  and  with  many  tears  exhorting  them  to  repentance. 
Though  his  life  seemed  to  be  taken  up  in  continual  action, 
he  accompanied  it  with  perpetual  prayer  and  incredible 
corporal  austerities.  And  his  tears  of  devotion,  his  frequent 
raptures,  and  his  eminent  spirit  of  contemplation,  gave  a 
lustre  to  his  other  virtues.  But  his  sincere  humility  ap- 
peared most  admirable  in  all  his  actions,  even  amidst  the 
honours  which  he  received  at  the  court  of  Valladolid, 
whither  business  called  him.  The  king  and  princes  seemed 
to  vie  with  each  other  who  should  show  him  the  greatest 
courtesy,  or  put  the  largest  alms  in  his  hands.  Only  the 
most  tried  virtue  could  stand  the  test  of  honours,  but  John 
remained  the  same  retiring,  modest  man  he  was  before,  pre- 
ferring humiliation  to  honour.  One  day,  when  a  woman 
called  him  a  hypocrite,  and  loaded  him  with  invectives,  he 
gave  her  a  piece  of  money,  and  desired  her  to  repeat  all 
she  had  said  in  the  market-place. 

Worn  out  at  last  by  ten  years'  hard  service  in  his  hospital, 
he  fell  sick.  The  immediate  occasion  was  excess  of  fatigue 
in  saving  wood  and  other  such  things  for  the  poor,  in  a 
great  flood.  He  at  first  concealed  his  sickness,  that  he 
might  not  be  obliged  to  diminish  his  labours,  but  in  the 
meantime  he  carefully  went  over  the  inventories  of  all 
things  belonging  to  his  hospital,  and  inspected  all  the 
accounts.     He  also  revised  the  rules  he  had  made  for  its 



170  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  s. 

administration,  the  distribution  of  time,  and  the  exercises  of 
piety  to  be  observed  in  it.  Upon  a  complaint  that  he  har- 
boured idle  strollers  and  bad  women,  the  archbishop  sent 
for  him.  The  man  of  God  threw  himself  at  his  feet,  and 
said,  "  The  Son  of  God  came  for  sinners,  and  we  are  obliged 
to  seek  their  conversion.  I  am  unfaithful  to  my  vocation 
because  I  neglect  this ;  and  I  confess  that  I  know  no  other 
bad  person  in  my  hospital  but  myself."  This  he  spoke  with 
go  much  humility  that  all  present  were  moved,  and  the  arch- 
bishop dismissed  him  with  respect,  leaving  all  things  to  his 
discretion.  His  illness  increasing,  the  news  of  it  spread.  The 
lady  Anne  Ossorio  was  no  sooner  informed  of  his  condition, 
than  she  came  in  her  carriage  to  the  hospital  to  see  him. 
The  servant  of  God  lay  in  his  habit  in  his  little  cell,  covered 
with  a  piece  of  an  old  coat  instead  of  a  blanket,  and  having 
under  his  head  the  basket  in  which  he  was  wont  to  collect 
alms  for  his  hospital.  The  poor  and  sick  stood  weeping 
round  him.  The  lady,  moved  with  compassion,  despatched 
secretly  a  message  to  the  archbishop,  who  sent  immediately 
an  order  to  S.  John  to  obey  her  as  he  would  himself,  during 
his  illness.  By  virtue  of  this  authority  she  obliged  him  to 
leave  his  hospital.  In  going  out,  he  visited  the  Blessed 
Sacrament,  and  poured  forth  his  heart  before  It  with  fervour ; 
remaining  there  absorbed  in  his  devotions  so  long,  that  the 
lady  Anne  Ossorio  caused  him  to  be  taken  up  and  carried 
into  her  carriage,  in  which  she  conveyed  him  to  her  own 
house.  She  herself  prepared,  with  the  help  of  her  maids, 
and  gave  him  with  her  own  hands,  broth  and  medicine,  and 
often  read  to  him  the  history  of  the  passion  of  our  Divine 
E.edeemer.  The  whole  city  was  in  tears ;  all  the  nobility 
visited  him ;  and  the  magistrates  came  to  beg  he  would  give 
his  benediction  to  the  city.  He  answered,  that  his  sins 
rendered  him  the  scandal  and  reproach  of  their  country, 
but  recommended  to  them  his  brethren  the  poor,  and  his 


March  8.]  S.    J '  okfl  of  God.  Ijl 

religious  that  served  them.  At  last,  by  order  of  the  arch- 
bishop, he  gave  the  city  his  dying  blessing.  The  archbishop 
said  Mass  in  his  chamber,  heard  his  confession,  gave  him 
the  viaticum  and  extreme  unction,  and  promised  to  pay  all 
his  debts  and  to  provide  for  all  his  poor. 

The  saint  expired  on  his  knees,  before  the  altar,  on  the 
8th  of  March,  in  15  50,  at  the  age  of  fifty-five.  He  was 
buried  by  the  archbishop,  and  all  the  clergy,  both  secular 
and  regular,  accompanied  by  the  court,  the  nobles,  and  the 
whole  city,  with  the  utmost  pomp.  He  was  honoured  by 
many  miracles,  beatified  by  Urban  VIII.,  in  1630,  and 
canonized  by  Alexander  VIII.,  in  1690.  His  relics  were 
translated  into  the  church  of  his  brethren  in  1664.  His 
Order  of  Charity  to  serve  the  sick  was  approved  of  by  pope 
Pius  V. 

Jeeue  Chriit  in  the  Character  of  a  Pilgrim  accepting  the  Hospitality  of  two  Dominicans 
From  a   Fn-oco  hy   Fra  Ang^licc  at  Florence. 


ln2  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March,. 

March  9. 

S.  Pacian,  B.  of  Barcelona,  in  Spain,  before  a.d.  39c. 

S.  Gregory  Nyssen,  B.C.  in  Cappadocia,  circ.  a.d.  .390. 

S.  Bosa,   B.  in  Northumbria,  a.d.  705. 

SS.  Cyril  and  Methodius,  App.of  the  Sda-ves,  gthcent. 

S.  Vitalis  of  Sicily,  Ab.,  a.d.  994. 

S.  Catharine  of  Boloona,  V.  in  Italy,  a.d.  1463. 

S.  Frances  of  Rome,  If.,  a.d.  1440. 


(BEFORE   A.D.    390.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,   and  those  of  Ado,   Notker,    &c.     Authority  :— 
Mention  by  S.  Jerome  in  his  Ecclesiastical  Writers,  c.  106,  107,  132.] 

fERY  little  is  known  of  this  Spanish  bishop,  ex- 
cept that  he  was  the  author  of  some  short  works, 
of  which  one,  named  Cerbus,  is  lost.  His 
"  Epistles  against  the  Novatians,"  his  "  Call  to 
Penitence,"  and  "Book  on  Baptism,"  addressed  to  cate- 
chumens, are  extant  His  son,  Flavius  Dexter,  probably 
born  before  Pacian  received  episcopal  orders,  was  an  inti- 
mate friend  of  S.  Jerome.  Pacian  died  at  an  advanced  old 
age  in  the  reign  of  Theodosius. 


(ABOUT    A.D.    390.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Greek  Mensea  on  Jan.  10th  ;  the  Coptic  Church 
on  Oct.  14th  and  Nov.  22nd.  Authorities  :— His  own  works  ;  S.  Gregory 
Nazianzen,  in  his  letters  ;  Socrates  and  Theodoret,  in  their  Ecclesiastical 

S.  Gregory  was  a  younger  brother  of  the  great  S.  Basil, 
(June  14th,)  and  S.  Macrina,  (July  19th),  and  son  of  the 

* * 

After  Dominichino. 

March,  p.  172.] 

[March  9. 

* ^ 

March  9.]  .S*.    Gregory  of  Nyssa.  1 73 

holy  Eusebius  and  Emmelia,  who  are  commemorated  on 
May  30th.     Having  lost  his  parents,  he  grew  to  reverence 
his  brother  Basil  as  a  father,  and  his  sister  was  to  him  as  a 
mother,  the  instructress  of  his  youth.     He  was  educated  in 
every  accomplishment  of  the  age,  and  became  a  rhetorician. 
He  was  married  to  a  virtuous  wife,  named  Theosebia,  who 
is  highly  praised  by  S.  Gregory  Nazianzen  in  his  ninety-fifth 
epistle,  in  after  years,  as  "  an  honour  to  the  church,  an  orna- 
ment of  Christ,   the  utility  of  our  age,  the  confidence  of 
women,  the  fairest  and  most  illustrious  amidst  the  beauty  of 
the  brethren,  truly  holy  wife  of  a  priest,  his  peer  in  honour 
and  worthy  of  the  great  mysteries."      These  expressions, 
though  somewhat  exaggerated,  at  least  point  Theosebia  out 
as   having  been  held  in   high   honour   by  the  great  saint 
of  Nazianzus.      Gregory   took   the  order   of    Reader,  but 
instead  of  pressing  forward  to  the  diaconate  and  priesthood, 
showed  an  inclination  to  pursue  a  wholly  secular  avocation 
as  a  rhetorician,  and  this  drew  down  on  him  a  sharp  repri- 
mand from  Gregory  Nazianzen.  Moved  by  this  admonition, 
Gregory  now  resolved  to  turn  his  back  upon  worldly  ambi- 
tion, and  devote  himself  wholly  to  the  service  of  God.     He 
was  ordained  bishop  by  his  brother,  S.  Basil,  in  371,  when 
he  was   aged    about    thirty-two ;    and   it   is   supposed   by 
Baronius  that  Gregory  lived  with  his  wife   in  continence 
after  his  ordination,  and  that  she  was  a  deaconess.     Nazi- 
anzen calls  her  his   "  holy  and  blessed  sister,"  but  this  is 
slender  ground  for  the  conjecture.     It  must  be  remembered 
that  the  celibacy  of  the  clergy,  which  is  now  required  by 
the  Western  Church,  with  such  advantage,  was  not  a  matter 
of  rule  for  some  centuries,    and   never  prevailed    in    the 
Oriental  Church.     There  cannot  be  much  doubt  as  to  the 
great  benefit  to  the  Church  of  a  celibate  priesthood,  but  it 
is  a  mistake  to  endeavour  to  force  the  facts  of  history  to 
demonstrate  that  celibacy  was  of  primitive  obligation.     It 



* >I« 

174  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [Marcn9. 

was  always  felt  to  be  most  seemly,  and  when  Western 
Christendom  became  sufficiently  organized  to  admit  of  the 
rule  being  made,  the  popes  and  councils  did  what  was  evi- 
dently for  the  good  of  the  Kingdom  of  Christ  in  requiring 
the  clergy  to  lead  celibate  lives. 

The  see  of  Gregory  was  Nyssa,  a  city  of  Cappadocia,  of 
no  great  importance,  but  the  brilliant  qualities  of  the  bishop, 
and  his  orthodoxy,  made  him  soon  conspicuous  as  a  leader 
of  the  Catholics,  and  an  object  of  great  dread  to  the  Arians, 
who  prevailed  on  Demosthesus,  the  deputy-governor  of  the 
province,  under  the  Arian  Emperor  Valens,  to  banish  him. 
He  spent  eight  years  in  exile,  wandering  from  place  to  place, 
suffering  everywhere  persecution  from  the  Arians.  Shortly 
after  the  accession  of  Gratian,  Gregory  was  restored  to  his 
see,  and  assisted  at  the  Synod  of  Antioch,  in  379,  where  he 
received  the  chrxge  of  visiting  the  scattered  churches  in 
Arabia.  To  enable  him  to  execute  this  arduous  work,  the 
emperor  Theodosius  accorded  to  him  the  use  of  the  govern- 
ment post-horses  and  chariots. 

He  assisted  at  the  council  of  Constantinople,  in  381, 
when  he  was  chosen  to  make  the  funeral  oration  upon  S. 
Meletius,  patriarch  of  Antioch,  and  was  delegated  to  be  one 
of  the  bishops  to  visit  Pontus.  In  385,  he  preached  at 
Constantinople  the  funeral  oration  of  the  empress  Flacilla, 
and  he  was  present  at  the  dedication  of  the  church  of  the 
Ruffini,  in  Constantinople,  in  394.  The  exact  date  of  his 
death  is  not  known,  but  it  is  certain  that  he  died  at  an 
advanced  age. 

It  is  unnecessary  here  to  give  a  list  of  the  writings  of 
this  eloquent  doctor,  a  large  number  of  which  have  been 

* ►{, 

S.  GREGORY  OF  NYSSA  (with  square  nimbus).     After  Cahier. 
March,  p.  174.  j  [March  9. 


March  p.]  ,S.  Bosa.  t  75 

S.  BOSA,  B.  C. 
(a.d.    705.) 

[Wilson,  in  his  Anglican  Martyrology.      Authority  : — Bede.] 

The  monastery  of  Streaneshalch,  now  Whitby,  was 
founded  and  governed  by  S.  Hilda,  towards  the  middle  of 
the  seventh  century.  It  was  a  double  community,  under 
the  rule  of  S.  Columba,  which  S.  Aidan  had  introduced 
among  the  Northumbrians.  S.  Hilda  governed  a  congrega- 
tion of  men,  as  well  as  one  of  women,  who  lived  in  separate 
dwellings  ;  and  such  was  her  care  that  no  less  than  five 
bishops  issued  from  this  monastery,  all  of  them  men  of 
singular  merit  and  sanctity. 

The  first  of  these  saint-like  prelates  named  by  Bede,  was 
Bosa,  who,  upon  the  removal  of  S.  Wilfrid,  was  taken 
from  the  solitude  of  the  cloister,  and  ordained  bishop  of 
York  by  S.  Theodore,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  in  the 
year  678.  He  most  worthily  administered  the  see  till  700, 
when  S.  Wilfrid  being  recalled,  he  humbly  resigned  his 
charge,  and  returned  to  his  monastery. 

But  S.  Wilfrid  being  again  expelled,  S.  Bosa  was  once 
more  called  forth  to  the  pastoral  administration  of  the  see 
of  York,  and  this  he  discharged  till  his  death,  which  took 
place  in  the  year  705.  He  was  a  man  of  great  sanctity  and 
humility,  says  Bede.  He  had  for  his  successor  S.  John  of 
Beverley,  from  the  same  monastery. 



ij6  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 


(9TH    CENT.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  S.  Cyril  by  the  Greeks  on  Feb.  14th,  and  S. 
Methodius  on  May  nth.  Authorities  :—  The  Life  of  S.  Clement,  a  pupil 
of  Methodius,  pub.  by  Pampereus,  Vienna,  1802  ;  the  Pannonian  Life  of 
Methodius  ;  notices  in  the  Life  of  S.  Ludmilla  ;  the  Chronicle  of  Nestor  ; 
Cosmas  of  Prague,  &c.  The  chronology  in  this  article  is  from  the  treatise 
on  Cyril  and  Methodius  by  Philaret,  B.  of  Riga,  Milan,  1847.] 

Cyril  and  Methodius,  the  apostles  of  the  Sclaves,  were 
brothers,  the  sons  of  a  man  of  rank  in  Thessalonica.  Con- 
stantine,  who  afterwards  in  religion  assumed  the  name  of 
Cyril,  the  younger,  was  educated  at  the  court  of  Constan- 
tinople, along  with  the  youthful  emperor  Michael,  from  the 
year  842,  by  the  illustrious  Photius,  who  instructed  him  in 
logic,  philosophy,  mathematics,  and  languages.  His  talents 
and  accomplishments  afforded  him  every  prospect  of  a 
brilliant  career  in  the  world,  but  he  chose  to  lay  them  at  the 
foot  of  the  cross,  and,  receiving  sacred  orders,  was  ap- 
pointed librarian  to  the  palace.  Soon  after,  he  retired  to  a 
little  monastery,  but  was  drawn  from  it  again  to  give  lectures 
on  philosophy. 

Methodius,  his  elder  brother,  as  soon  as  his  education 
was  accomplished,  entered  the  army,  and  was  appointed  to 
the  government  of  the  Graeco-Sclavonic  province,  which,  ac- 
cording to  the  Pannonian  legend,  he  held  for  ten  years. 

In  the  year  851,  Cyril  retired  to  Mount  Olympus,  along 
with  his  brother,  who  had  also  resolved  to  desert  the  world, 
and  lived  in  seclusion  and  the  practice  of  self-discipline.  In 
858,  some  dignitaries  of  the  Chazars,  a  Hunnish  race,  be- 
sought the  emperor  to  send  them  a  learned  man  to  instruct 
them  in  the  true  faith,  and  Cyril  and  Methodius  were  chosen 
for  this  purpose. 

How  long  they  spent  on  this  mission  is  not  known  exactly. 


_____ ^ 

March  9.]  SS.  Cyril  &  Methodius.  177 

They  tarried  till  they  could  organise  the  church  among  the 
Chazars,  and  then  retired  to  the  Crimea  where  they  worked 
together  at  making  a  Sclavonic  translation  of  the  Holy 
Gospels.  It  was  whilst  there  that  they  discovered  what  they 
believed  to  be  the  relics  of  S.  Clement  of  Rome,  lying  to- 
gether with  the  anchor,  which  had  been  attached  to  his  neck, 
where  the  faithful  had  reverently  laid  him.  They  raised  the 
holy  remains,  and  translated  them  to  Constantinople. 

In  862,  the  Sclavonic  princes  of  Pannonia,  Rostislaw, 
Swaetopolk,  and  Kotel  requested  the  emperor  Michael  and 
the  patriarch  Photius,  to  send  them  teachers,  "  because  they 
were  without  true  instructors  for  the  people,"  and  they 
desired  to  have  instruction  and  divine  worship  in  their  own 
language.  It  appears  that  missionaries  of  the  Latin  Church 
had  already  penetrated  amongst  them,  but  probably  had 
been  unable  to  master  the  Sclavonic  tongue ;  at  any  rate, 
the  Pannonians  refused  to  accept  them,  and  turned  instead 
to  the  East 

None  were  better  calculated  to  execute  this  mission  than 
the  brothers  Methodius  and  Cyril,  the  former  of  whom  had 
for  some  years  governed  a  Sclavonic  province,  and  both  had 
been  born  at  Thessalonica,  on  the  confines  of  Sclavonic 
peoples,  and  where  the  language  was  familiar  to  the  natives. 
The  emperor  and  the  patriarch  felt  this,  and  sent  for  them, 
and  laid  before  them  the  desire  of  these  heathen  princes  for 
the  Gospel.  The  brothers  at  once  undertook  the  mission, 
and  set  forth.  On  their  way,  Methodius  was  the  means  of 
converting  the  king  of  the  Bulgarians.  Boris  had  a  sister, 
who  was  a  Christian,  having  been  brought  up  at  Constanti- 
nople, whither  she  had  been  carried  captive.  The  prince, 
who  was  passionately  fond  of  hunting,  desired  the  emperor 
to  procure  him  a  picture,  which  should  illustrate  his  favourite 
pursuit,  and  adorn  the  hall  of  a  new  palace  he  had  erected. 
Methodius  was  commissioned  by  the  emperor  to  execute 

VOL.    III.  12 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  9, 

this  task,  and  he  appeared  before  king  Boris,  not  as  a  mis- 
sionary, but  as  a  painter.  "  Let  it  be  a  good  picture,"  said 
the  prince,  "large  and  terrible."  "So  shall  it  be," 
answered  Methodius,  "but  one  thing  I  demand, — that  I 
may  be  left  undisturbed  here  to  complete  my  picture,  that 
no  one  may  see  it  till  it  is  finished."  The  king  reluctantly 
gave  his  consent,  and  day  after  day  passed,  and  the  painter 
was  not  seen.  He  remained  closely  shut  up  within  the 
palace.  Weeks  rolled  by,  and  Boris  chafed  with  impatience 
and  curiosity.  At  length  the  doors  were  thrown  open,  and 
the  king  entered.  Methodius  had  painted  the  Last  Judg- 
ment on  the  wall  of  the  new  hall.  Above  sat  Christ  on  the 
great  white  throne,  and  below  were  men  receiving  sentence, 
and  the  angels  dividing  them.  An  awe  and  wonder  fell  on 
the  king's  heart  as  he  contemplated  the  picture.  "  What 
meaneth  this  ?"  he  asked.  And  Methodius  seized  the  op- 
portunity of  preaching  to  him  righteousness,  temperance, 
and  judgment  to  come.  He  explained  to  the  king  the 
whole  doctrine  of  the  final  judgment  of  men,  their  fate 
depending  on  their  works  in  this  world,  and  the  king 
trembled.  He  went  on  to  speak  of  the  glories  prepared 
for  the  baptized  who  keep  the  faith.  Great  and  purifying 
thoughts  swelled  the  bosom  of  the  prince,  and  going  up  to 
the  painter,  he  said,  with  his  head  bowed,  "  Take  me,  and 
teach  me,  that  I  too  may  pass  to  the  beautiful  side  of  the 

And  when  Cyril  and  Methodius  had  preached  the  Word 
of  God  among  the  Bulgarians,  they  journeyed  on,  bearing 
the  bones  of  S.  Clement,  and  their  Sclavonic  translation  of 
the  Holy  Gospels,  into  Moravia,  where  they  laboured  about 
four  and  a  half  years  with  great  success.  The  bishops  of 
the  neighbouring  German  provinces,  however,  viewed  the 
mission  of  these  Easterns  with  jealousy,  and  complained  to 
pope  Nicolas  I.  of  their  performing  the  liturgy  in  the  Scla- 


March  9.j  .SVS'.  Cyril  &  Methodius.  1 79 

vonic  language.  The  unsuccessful  war  waged  by  Rostislaw 
with  the  Germans,  and  the  deposition  of  Photius  at  Con- 
stantinople, who  had  commissioned  the  two  apostles,  gave 
Nicolas  the  opportunity  of  summoning  the  two  Greek  mis- 
sionaries to  Rome.  On  their  journey  (in  868)  they  were 
subjected  to  vexatious  treatment  at  Venice,  on  account  of 
their  cause,  but  pope  Adrian  II.,  who  had  succeeded 
Nicolas,  dreading  to  lose  Moravia  and  Pannonia,  received 
them  with  great  cordiality,  permitted  them  to  celebrate  the 
divine  mysteries  in  Sclavonic  at  the  grave  of  the  Apostles, 
ordained  their  disciples,  Formosus  and  Gonderik,1  bishops, 
three  others  priests,  and  two  lectors.  He  also  sanctioned 
the  use  of  the  Sclavonic  liturgy.  The  following  account 
from  the  Lections  of  the  Olmutz  Breviary  will  not  prove 
uninteresting.  "  The  blessed  Cyril,  by  the  grace  of  God, 
after  he  had  converted  the  Moravians,  invented  new  alpha- 
betical letters,  and  translated  the  Old  and  New  Testaments, 
and  many  other  things  from  Greek  or  Latin,  into  the  Scla- 
vonic tongue  ;  and  he  appointed  to  be  sung  Mass,  and  the 
other  canonical  hours  in  the  church.  And  to  this  day  they 
are  thus  sung  in  Sclavonic  parts,  especially  in  Bulgaria,  and 
thereby  many  souls  are  drawn  to  Christ  the  Lord.  And 
when  after  some  time  the  said  Cyril  went  to  Rome  out  of 
devotion,  he  was  rebuked  by  the  sovereign  pontiff  and  the 
other  rulers  of  the  church,  because,  contrary  to  the  canons, 
he  had  appointed  the  holy  Mass  to  be  sung  in  the  Sclavonic 
tongue.  But  he,  humbly  endeavouring  to  satisfy  them,  but 
not  able  to  convince  them  wholly,  snatched  up  the  Psalter, 
and  read  the  words  of  the  Psalmist,  '  Let  everything  that 
hath  breath  praise  the  Lord.'  Omnis  spiritus  laudet  Domi- 
num.  And  he  said,  '  If  every  one  that  hath  breath  is  to 
praise  the  Lord,  why,  my  fathers,  do  ye  forbid  me  to  perform 

1  Gonderik,  bishop  of  Vilitcrni,  was  the  author  of  the  Life  of  S.  Clement,  which 
contains  much  information  on  the  life  and  acts  of  SS.  Cyril  and  Methodius. 



180  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

the  Mass  in  the  Sclavonic  tongue,  or  to  translate  other  things 
from  Latin  and  Greek  into  the  vernacular?  Finding  the 
people  simple  and  ignorant  of  the  ways  of  the  Lord,  I,  by 
the  inspiration  of  God,  found  this  means  of  drawing  many 
to  God.  Therefore,  pardon  me,  my  fathers,  and,  following 
the  example  of  S.  Paul,  the  doctor  of  the  Gentiles, — Forbid 
not  to  speak  with  tongues,  (i  Cor.  xiv.  39.)'  And  they, 
hearing  him,  and  wondering  at  his  sanctity  and  faith,  gave 
him  authority  in  those  parts  to  say  Mass,  and  sing  the 
Canonical  Hours,  in  the  aforesaid  tongue." 

Cyril  died  in  Rome  shortly  after,  Feb.  14th,  869,  in  a 
monastery  into  which  he  had  retired ;  but  Methodius,  ac- 
cording to  the  entreaty  of  his  dying  brother,  returned  to 
Moravia,  to  find  that  the  hostility  of  the  German  prelates 
and  clergy  was  not  allayed.  Political  disturbances,  fomented 
by  the  Germans,  broke  out  between  869  and  901,  and  Ros- 
tislaw  was  reduced  to  ruin.  Methodius  held  himself  aloof 
from  these  contests,  and  in  870  went  with  his  disciples 
into  Pannonia,  where  the  court  received  him  and  gave  up 
to  him  the  castle  of  Salava  in  Mosburg,  as  a  residence. 
Kotel  now  besought  the  pope  to  consecrate  Methodius 
archbishop  of  Pannonia,  and  his  request  was  complied  with. 
But  the  German  clergy,  especially  the  archbishops  of  Salzburg 
and  Mainz,  who  unfortunately  were  ambitious  rather  of  ex- 
tending their  authority  than  of  preaching  the  Gospel  to  the 
people,  were  exasperated  by  this  to  the  highest  pitch,  and 
they  stirred  up  against  him  the  German  emperor  and  the 
Moravian  prince  Swaetopolk,  and  brought  matters  so  far 
that  he  was  driven  into  banishment  for  a  year  and  a  half  or 
two  years.  Pope  John  VIII.  restored  to  him  his  see  in 
874.  At  last  the  Moravian  Sclaves  saw  through  the  ambi- 
tion of  the  bishops  his  opponents,  and  expelled  them 
the  country,  at  the  same  time  writing  to  the  pope  to  request 
him  to  appoint  Methodius  archbishop  of  Moravia.     This 


March  9.]  .SVS'.  Cyril  &  Methodius.  181 

John  VIII.  consented  to,  and  "from  this  time,"  says  the 
contemporary  writer  of  the  Pannonian  history  of  S.  Metho- 
dius, "the  divine  doctrine  began  to  grow  and  spread  rapidly, 
and  heathenism  and  superstition  to  disappear."  But  the 
archbishops  of  Salzburg  and  Mainz,  who  claimed  jurisdic- 
tion over  the  Sclavonic  races,  though  not  converted  by  them, 
could  not  forgive  Methodius  the  loss  of  their  power  and 
position  in  the  country.  They  hastened  to  Rome,  and 
complained  that  Methodius  was  heretical  on  the  subject  of 
the  Double  Procession,  that  he  taught  the  independence  of 
the  Moravian  Church,  and  that  he  celebrated  the  Liturgy  in 
the  vulgar  tongue.  Pope  John  thereupon,  in  878,  forbade 
the  performance  of  the  Liturgy  in  Sclavonic,  and  in  the 
following  year  summoned  Methodius  to  appear  before  him 
in  Rome.  The  German- Latin  prelates  triumphed ;  they 
appeared  in  Moravia,  and  declared  that  Methodius  was  de- 
posed, and  that  his  authority  had  been  transferred  to  them. 
But  pope  John,  on  the  appearance  of  the  apostle  before 
him,  was  satisfied  of  his  orthodoxy,  and  confirmed  him 
in  his  position  and  authority  over  the  Moravian  Church. 
Disappointed  in  their  hope  of  ruining  Methodius  at 
Rome,  the  German  prelates  now  spread  the  report  that 
the  archbishop  had  incurred  the  displeasure  of  the  em- 
peror by  his  submission  to  the  pope.  Methodius  was 
therefore  obliged  to  make  a  journey  to  Constantinople, 
where  he  was  cordially  received  by  the  emperor  Basil,  and 
then  dismissed  with  many  presents.  As  soon  as  it  was 
proved  that  the  report  of  the  anger  of  the  imperial  court 
was  false,  the  enemies  of  Methodius  endeavoured  to  dispose 
Swaetopolk,  the  prince,  against  him ;  and  this  they  were  the 
more  able  to  effect,  because  the  prince  was  a  man  of  im- 
moral life,  and  had  incurred  the  reprimand  of  the  arch- 
bishop on  more  than  one  occasion.  Gradually,  influenced 
by  these  treacherous  aposUes  of  Mammon,  rather  than  of 



1 82  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  y. 

Jesus  Christ,  Swaetopolk  became  alienated  from  Methodius ; 
but  in  spite  of  all  their  efforts,  and  the  coldness  of  the 
prince,  all  the  Sclavonic  races,  from  Croatia  and  Dalmatia  to 
the  confines  of  Poland,  heard  in  their  own  tongue  the 
celebration  of  the  Divine  mysteries,  and  looked  to  Me- 
thodius as  their  archbishop.  Moreover  he  effected  the 
conversion  of  the  Bohemian  Duke  Borivoi,  and  introduced 
Christianity  into  his  lands.  He  founded  at  Prague  the 
church  of  Our  Lady,  and  another  dedicated  to  SS.  Peter 
and  Paul ;  and  died  on  April  6th,  885. 

Relics  of  S.  Cyril  at  Rome  in  S.  Clemente,  and  at  Brunn, 
in  Moravia.  In  Art  S.  Cyril  is  represented  in  a  philoso- 
pher's long  habit,  and  bearded.  S.  Methodius  as  an  arch- 
bishop with  the  pallium,  holding  in  one  hand  a  picture  of 
the  Last  Judgment 

(a.d.   1463.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Her  name  was  inserted  by  Clement  VIII.,  in 
1592  ;  and  she  was  canonized  by  Benedict  XIII.,  in  1724.  Authority  : — 
Her  life  written  by  F.  Paleotti,  about  fifty  years  after  her  death.] 

Catharine  was  the  daughter  of  noble  parents.  Her  father, 
John  Vigri,  was  high  in  favour  with  Nicholas  d'Este,  prince 
of  Ferrara.  She  was  born  on  the  Nativity  of  the  B.  Virgin, 
141 2,  at  Bologna,  where  she  spent  her  childhood;  but 
growing  up  to  girlhood  she  removed  with  her  parents  to 
Ferrara,  and  became  the  associate  of  Margaret,  daughter 
of  the  prince.  At  the  age  of  eleven  she  joined  the  order  of 
the  Poor  Clares,  and  entered  the  convent  of  that  society  in 
Bologna,  with  the  consent  of  her  parents.  "Thus  with- 
drawn from  all  terrestral  occupations,"  says  her  biographer, 
"  she  began  to  serve  God  with  such  fervour  of  soul,  that  all 


From  Stou^hton's  ' '  Italian  Reformers." 

March,  p.  182.] 

[March  9. 

Ma»ctj9.j  S.   Catharine  of  Bologna.  183 

began  to  marvel  at  her.  So  great  was  her  gentleness,  so 
great  her  reverence  and  obedience  towards  others,  as  long 
as  she  lived,  that  she  soon  became  beloved  and  pleasant  to 
all,  and  almost  venerable  in  her  early  girlhood.  Wherever 
she  was,  and  with  whomsoever  she  conversed,  she  spoke 
either  of  God  or  with  God,  so  that,  though  her  body  was  on 
earth,  her  soul  was  ever  in  heaven.  And  although  she  was 
tormented  with  grievous  temptations  which  tried  her 
almost  out  of  measure,  yet  was  she  always  of  a  glad  counte- 
nance." She  grew  daily  more  devoted  to  prayer ;  and  her 
greatest  delight  was  to  spend  many  hours  in  close  commun- 
ing with  God.  One  Christmas  Eve  she  obtained  permission 
to  spend  the  night  in  the  church,  having  resolved  to  recite 
a  thousand  times  the  Angelic  Salutation  in  honour  of  her 
who  that  night  bore  the  Saviour  of  the  world.  The  hours 
glided  away  in  the  church  in  all  stillness,  save  for  the  click 
of  the  beads  in  Catharine's  fingers,  and  in  all  darkness, 
save  for  the  glimmer  of  the  red  lamp  before  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  Suddenly,  a  glory  filled  the  church,  and  she 
saw  before  her  the  holy  Mother  bearing  her  infant  Son  in 
her  bosom,  and  smiling  on  the  young  religious,  S.  Mary  laid 
the  child  Jesus  in  her  arms.  It  was  a  moment  of  supreme 
felicity,  and  one  painters  have  loved  to  recall,  as  she  held 
to  her  heart  her  Redeemer  and  God,  and  looked  down  on 
His  radiant  face.  Then,  trembling  between  love  and  fear, 
she  bent  her  lips  to  his  mouth,  and  instantly  all  was  dark ; 
the  vision  had  fled.  When  she  returned  to  her  cell  she 
wrote  down  what  she  had  seen  on  the  margin  of  her 
breviary,  where  it  was  found  after  her  death. 

Margaret  d'Este,  her  little  friend  in  childhood,  had  grown 
up,  and  was  married  to  a  good  man,  Robert  Malatesta,1 
who,  however,  died  and  left  her  a  disconsolate  widow.  The 
prince  of  Ferrara  was  desirous  of  marrying  his  daughter 

1  Robert  was  only  eighteen  when  he  married  her,  and  she  was  much  younger. 

. ■ * 

184  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

again,  but  Margaret  clung  to  the  memory  of  her  first 
husband,  and  besought  her  friend  Catharine  to  assist  her 
with  her  prayers.  And  it  fell  out  that  on  the  very  day 
of  the  second  marriage  the  bridegroom  died.  Next  night 
Margaret  saw  Robert  come  to  her,  and  extending  to  her  the 
wedding  ring,  say,  "  Margaret,  I  marry  thee  again,  thou 
must  be  mine  alone  !"  and  she  spent  the  rest  of  her  days  in 
a  holy  widowhood.  A  convent  of  Poor  Clares  having  been 
founded  in  Bologna,  S.  Catharine  was  appointed  to  be  the 
first  prioress,  in  spite  of  her  tears  and  entreaties  to  be  left  to 
the  calm  seclusion  of  her  cell,  and  the  subordinate  duties  of 
a  sister.  She  dreaded  lest  the  cares  and  business  which  fall 
to  a  superior  should  leave  her  less  time  for  contemplation 
and  prayer. 

On  her  way  from  Ferrara  to  her  new  home  she  sickened, 
but  persevered  in  her  journey,  though  carried  on  a  litter  to 
the  boat,  and  when  placed  in  it,  was  given  a  blessed  candle 
to  hold,  as  is  usual  with  dying  persons,  in  case  she  should 
die  on  the  journey.  She  however  recovered,  sufficiently  to 
set  the  new  house  in  order,  and  to  complete  the  construc- 
tion of  some  of  the  buildings ;  and  then  after  the  flame  of 
life  had  again  sunk,  and  once  more  flickered  up,  calmly 
entered  into  the  joy  of  her  Lord  on  March  9th,  1463,  at 
the  age  of  fifty-one. 

Her  body,  incorrupt,  is  shown  in  the  church  of  her 
convent,  through  glass,  sitting,  richly  habited,  but  with  face, 
hands,  and  feet  bare. 

►j< _ >{< 


March 9]  .S.  Frances  of  Rome.  185 

(a.d.   1440.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Canonized  by  Paul  V. ,  in  1608.  Authorities  : — 
Her  life  by  her  confessor,  John  Mattiotti,  and  another  by  Maria  Magdalena 
d'Aguillar.  The  following  life  is  condensed  from  that  by  Lady  Georgiana 
Fullerton.  ] 

Frances  of  Rome  was  born  in  stormy  days.  War  was 
raging  all  over  Europe.  Italy  was  torn  by  inward  dissen- 
tions,  and  the  Church  was  afflicted,  not  only  by  the  outward 
persecutions  which  strengthens  her  vitality,  though  for  a 
while  they  appear  to  cripple  her  action,  but  by  trials  of  a  far 
deeper  and  more  painful  nature.  Heresy  had  torn  from 
her  arms  a  great  number  of  her  children,  and  repeated 
schisms  were  dividing  those  who,  in  appearance,  and  even 
in  intention,  remained  faithful  to  the  Holy  See.  The 
successors  of  S.  Peter  had  removed  the  seat  of  their  resi- 
dence to  Avignon,  and  the  eternal  city  presented  the  aspect 
of  one  vast  battle-field,  on  which  daily  and  hourly  conflicts 
were  occurring.  In  the  capital  of  Western  Christendom 
ruins  of  recent  date  lay  side  by  side  with  the  relics  of  past 
ages ;  the  churches  were  sacked,  burned,  and  destroyed, 
and  the  eyes  of  the  people  of  Rome  were  turned  beseech- 
ingly to  Heaven  to  restore  to  them  that  tranquillity  to  which 
they  had  almost  become  strange. 

It  was  at  that  time,  during  the  pontificate  of  Urban  VI., 
in  the  year  1384,  that  Francesca  was  born  at  Rome;  that 
"she  rose  as  a  star  in  a  dark  night,"  according  to  the 
expression  of  the  most  ancient  of  her  biographers.  Her 
father's  name  was  Paul  Russa;  her  mother's  Jacobella  de* 
Roffredeschi ;  they  were  both  of  noble  descent  On  the 
day  of  her  birth  she  was  carried  to  the  Church  of  S.  Agnes, 
and  there  baptized. 

Little  could  the  worshippers  who  may  have  been  praying 

* * 

1 86  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

there  that  day  for  a  blessing  on  their  bereaved  and  dis- 
tracted city,  have  guessed  in  what  form  that  blessing  was 
bestowed,  and  that  that  little  babe,  a  few  hours  old,  was  to 
prove  a  most  powerful  instrument  in  the  hands  of  God  for 
the  extinction  of  schism,  the  revival  of  piety,  and  the  return 
of  peace. 

From  her  infancy,  Francesca  was  not  like  other  children. 
At  two  or  three  years  old  she  manifested  a  precocious 
intelligence  and  piety.  Instead  of  playing,  she  loved  to 
retire  into  a  silent  corner  of  her  father's  palace,  and  kneeling 
down  join  her  little  hands  in  prayer. 

From  the  time  that  Francesca  had  understood  the  mean- 
ing of  the  words,  her  greatest  desire  had  been  to  enter  a 
convent;  it  was  therefore  with  profound  grief  that  she 
received,  at  the  age  of  twelve,  the  announcement  from  her 
father  that  he  had  promised  her  hand  to  Lorenzo  Ponziano, 
a  young  nobleman  of  illustrious  birth,  and  not  less  eminent 
for  his  virtues  and  talents  than  from  his  fortune  and  po- 
sition. She  flew  to  her  director  and  besought  his  advice. 
"  If  your  parents  persist  in  their  resolution,"  said  he,  "  take 
it,  my  child,  as  a  sign  that  God  expects  of  you  this  sacrifice. 
Offer  up  to  him  in  that  case  your  earnest  desire  for  the 
religious  life.  He  will  accept  the  will  for  the  deed ;  and 
you  will  attain  at  once  the  reward  of  that  wish,  and  the 
peculiar  graces  attached  to  the  sacrament  of  marriage." 
Francesca  submitted,  and  was  married  to  Lorenzo  Ponziano, 
and  took  up  her  abode  in  his  palace  in  the  heart  of  the 
Trastevere.  It  is  a  well-known  spot;  and  on  the  9th  of 
March,  the  people  of  Rome  flock  to  it  in  crowds.  The 
modern  building  erected  on  the  foundations  of  the  old 
palace  is  the  Casa  dei  Esercizii  Pii.  On  the  day  of  her 
festival  its  rooms  are  thrown  open,  every  memorial  of  the 
gentle  saint  is  exhibited,  lights  burn  on  numerous  altars, 
flowers  deck  the  passages,  leaves  are  strewn  in  the  chapel, 



March 9.]  6".  Frances  of  Rome.  187 

on  the  stairs,  in  the  entrance  court ;  figured  tapestry  and 
crimson  silks  hang  over  the  door,  and  crowds  of  people  go  in 
and  out,  and  kneel  before  the  relics  and  pictures  of  the  dear 
saint  of  Rome,  and  gaze  on  each  altar,  and  linger  in  these 
chambers,  like  kinsfolk  met  on  a  birthday  to  rejoice  together. 
Francesca  was  received  into  her  new  home  tenderly  and 
joyfully  by  her  father-in-law  Andrew,  his  wife  Cecilia,  and 
Vannozza,  the  wife  of  her  husband's  brother,  a  holy  and 
loving  woman,  in  whom  Francesca  found  a  kindred  spirit 
The  manner  of  Francesca  was  so  gentle  and  kind,  that  it 
inspired  affection  in  all  who  approached  her ;  but  there  was 
also  a  profound  and  awful  purity  in  her  aspect  and  in  her 
demeanour,  which  effectually  checked  the  utterance  of  a 
free  or  licentious  word  in  her  presence.  Faithful  to  her 
early  habits  of  piety,  she  continued  every  Wednesday  to 
visit  the  church  of  S.  Maria  Nuova  j  and  after  confessing  to 
her  director,  Antonio  Savelli,  she  communicated.  Rising 
betimes  in  the  morning,  Francesca  devoutly  said  her 
prayers,  made  her  meditations,  and  read  attentively  out  of  a 
spiritual  book.  In  the  course  of  the  day,  whenever  she  had 
a  moment's  leisure,  she  withdrew  into  a  church,  or  into  her 
own  room,  and  gave  herself  up  to  prayer.  At  the  same 
time,  so  devout  a  life  in  a  young  person  of  twelve  years  old 
could  not  fail  to  attract  the  attention  and  draw  down  the 
censures  of  the  worldly.  Many  such  began  to  laugh  at 
Francesca,  and  to  turn  her  piety  into  ridicule.  But  her 
husband  was  to  her  a  shield,  as  far  as  in  him  lay,  against 
spiteful  tongues.  His  young  wife  was  much  too  precious  to 
him,  much  too  perfect  in  his  sight,  her  whole  life  bore  too 
visibly  the  stamp  of  God's  dealings  with  her,  for  him  to 
dream  of  interfering  with  the  course  she  had  taken.  On  the 
contrary,  he  looked  upon  her  with  that  affectionate  vene- 
ration which  the  presence  of  true  sanctity  always  awakens 
in  a  noble  and  religious  mind. 



1 88  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

There  was  not  a  single  member,  friend,  or  servant,  of  that 
noble  family  into  which  she  had  been  received,  that  did  not 
love  her.  Paluzzo,  Lorenzo's  brother,  delighted  in  encour- 
aging the  intimacy  that  had  arisen  between  his  young  sister- 
in-law  and  his  own  wife  Vannozza.  Day  by  day  her  influence 
— her  tender,  noiseless,  gentle  influence — was  felt  subduing, 
winning,  drawing  them  all  to  God. 

The  happiness  which  the  family  of  Ponziano  had  enjoyed 
since  Lorenzo's  marriage  was  interrupted  by  the  sudden  and 
dangerous  illness  of  his  wife,  which  baffled  all  medical  skill, 
and  soon  brought  her  to  the  verge  of  the  grave.  She 
endured  excruciating  pain,  and  was  unable  to  take  nourish- 
ment. She  declined  rapidly,  and  all  hope  of  her  recovery 
was  abandoned,  when,  one  night,  as  she  was  lying  motion- 
less on  her  couch  of  suffering,  listening  to  the  breathing  of 
her  nurses  who  had  fallen  asleep,  a  sudden  light  filled  the 
room,  and  she  saw  standing  before  her  in  pilgrim's  robe, 
S.  Alexis,  the  noble  Roman  penitent,  who  had  passed  many 
years  as  a  despised  beggar  at  the  door  of  his  father's  palace. 
Drawing  near  to  Francesca's  bed,  he  said  "  I  am  Alexis, 
and  am  sent  from  God  to  enquire  of  thee  if  thou  choosest 
to  be  healed  ?"  "  I  have  no  choice  but  the  good  pleasure 
of  God,"  she  answered.  "  Then  live,"  said  he,  "  for  He 
choosest  that  thou  shouldest  remain  in  the  world  to  glorify 
His  name."  Then  he  drew  his  mantle  over  Francesca 
and  vanished,  leaving  her  perfectly  recovered. 

Confounded  at  this  extraordinary  favour,  she  rose  in 
haste,  and  slipping  out  of  the  room  without  awaking  her 
nurses,  she  hurried  to  the  bedside  of  her  sister-in-law. 
"  My  dear  Vannozza,  my  own  Vannozza  \"  she  exclaimed, 
putting  her  arm  round  her  neck,  and  her  cheek  next  hers. 
Vannozza  suddenly  awoke,  and  distrusting  the  evidence  of 
her  senses,  said,  "  Who  are  you  ?  Am  I  dreaming  ?  It 
sounds  like  the  voice  of  my  little  Frances  ?"     "  Yes,  it  is 



warch9.]  »S.  Frances  of  Rome.  189 

your  little  sister  who  is  speaking  to  you."  "What!  I  left 
you  only  an  hour  ago  at  the  point  of  death  !"  "  It  is  I, 
nevertheless,  come  to  thank  you,  dear  companion,  for 
having  nursed  me  so  tenderly,  and  now  help  me  to  thank 
God  for  his  wonderful  mercy  towards  me."  Then  sitting  on 
her  bed,  with  the  hands  of  her  sister  clasped  in  her  own, 
she  related  to  her  the  vision,  and  the  instantaneous  re- 
covery that  had  followed ;  and  then,  as  the  light  began  to 
break  into  the  chamber,  she  added  with  eagerness,  "Now 
let  us  hasten  to  S.  Maria  Nuova,  and  then  to  the  church  of 
S.  Alexis,  that  I  may  return  him  my  thanks,  before  others 
learn  what  God  has  done  for  me." 

The  year  1400  opened  under  melancholy  auspices.  The 
wars  for  the  succession  of  the  kingdom  of  Naples  between 
Louis  of  Anjou  and  Ladislas  were  agitating  the  whole  of 
Italy ;  and  Rome  was  exposed  to  all  the  fury  of  the  contend- 
ing parties.  Lorenzo  Ponziano,  from  his  rank  and  fidelity  to 
the  sovereign  pontiff,  was  especially  marked  out  as  an 
enemy  by  the  adverse  faction.  But  while  on  every  side  the 
storm  was  brewing,  and  the  aspect  of  public  affairs  each  day 
became  more  gloomy,  a  blessing  was  granted  him,  which 
for  the  last  five  years  he  had  ardently  desired.  Francesca 
became  the  mother  of  a  little  son,  who  received  at  the  font 
the  name  of  John  Baptist,  or,  in  Italian,  Giovanni  Baptista. 
It  was  not  at  that  time  the  custom  for  ladies  of  rank  to 
nurse  their  children ;  but  Francesca  set  aside  all  such 
considerations,  and  never  consented  to  forego  a  mother's 
sacred  privilege. 

In  obedience  to  her  director,  and  guided  by  her  own 
sense  of  duty,  she  modified,  for  the  time  being  her  usual 
mode  of  life,  and  occupied  herself  with  the  care  of  her  child 
in  preference  to  all  other  observances  of  charity  or  of 

About  a  year  after,  Lorenzo's  mother  died,  and  Frances 


* * 

190  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

was  called  to  take  her  place  as  head  of  the  household,  and 
to  superintend  all  the  domestic  affairs.  Distressed  at  the 
proposal,  she  pleaded  her  youth  and  inexperience,  and 
urged  that  Vannozza,  as  the  wife  of  the  eldest  brother,  was, 
as  a  matter  of  course,  entitled  to  that  position.  Vannozza, 
however,  steadily  refused  it,  and  at  length,  overcome  by  the 
general  importunity,  Francesca  found  herself  obliged  to 
comply.  Now  it  was  that  her  merit  shone  conspicuously. 
Placed  at  the  head  of  the  most  opulent  house  in  Rome,  no 
symptom  of  pride  revealed  itself  in  her  looks  or  in  her 
actions.  She  was  never  heard  to  speak  a  harsh  or  impatient 
word.  Firm  in  requiring  every  person  in  her  house  to  fulfil 
their  duties,  she  did  it  in  the  gentlest  manner.  Always 
courteous  to  her  servants,  she  watched  over  their  souls  as 
precious  treasures  entrusted  to  her  custody  by  God. 

Francesca  had  just  attained  the  age  of  twenty  when  her 
second  son  was  born.  He  was  baptized  on  the  day  of  his 
birth,  and  received  the  name  of  John  Evangelist.  He 
might  well  have  been  termed  his  mother's  own  child  ;  for  in 
his  veriest  infancy,  he  showed  that  he  had  inherited  her 
sweetness  and  spirit  of  devotion.  He  was  to  her  as  one  of 
God's  own  angels,  and  tears  of  joy  filled  her  eyes  as  she 
mused  on  the  extraordinary  signs  of  grace  which  he  daily 
evinced.  Evangelista  was  not  quite  three  years  old  when 
his  little  sister  Agnes  was  born,  who  in  beauty,  heavenly 
sweetness  of  temper,  and  precocious  piety,  proved  the 
counterpart  of  her  brother. 

In  the  year  1409,  when  she  was  about  twenty-seven  years 
old,  Francesca's  temporal  calamities  began.  After  Ladislas 
of  Naples,  befriended  by  the  enemies  of  the  pope,  had  in 
1498  gained  possession  of  Rome,  he  left  behind  him  as 
governor  of  the  city  the  count  of  Troja,  a  rough  and  brutal 
soldier.  In  an  engagement  with  the  count's  soldiers 
Lorenzo  Ponziano  was  stabbed,  and  taken  up  and  carried 

March  9.)  S.  Frances  of  Rome.  191 

home  as  if  dead.  Francesca  however  found  that  he  still 
breathed,  and  by  her  unremitting  attention,  he  was  re- 
stored to  health. 

Meanwhile  the  count  of  Troja,  pressed  on  every  side, 
began  to  foresee  the  necessity  of  leaving  Rome ;  but,  in 
his  exasperation,  resolved  previously  to  wreak  his  vengeance 
on  the  families  most  devoted  to  the  pope,  and  especially  on 
that  of  the  Ponziani.  He  accordingly  arrested  Paluzzo, 
Vannozza's  husband,  and  understanding  that  Lorenzo  had  a 
son  of  eight  or  nine  years  old,  he  commanded  that  he 
should  be  given  up  into  his  hands  as  a  hostage. 

This  was  to  Francesca  a  trial  almost  beyond  endurance, 
as  she  trembled  for  the  soul  of  her  little  one  about  to  be 
committed  to  unprincipled  soldiers.  The  report  of  the 
order  had  spread  through  Rome,  and  as  she  passed  through 
the  streets  clasping  the  hand  of  her  dear  child  whom  she 
was  about  to  surrender,  crowds  of  commiserating  women 
pressed  round  her.  She  mounted  the  Capitol,  walked 
straight  to  where  the  tyrant  was  standing,  and  gave  up  her 
son  to  him,  and  then,  without  once  looking  back,  she 
hastened  to  the  church  of  Ara  Coeli,  and  falling  prostrate 
before  the  feet  of  the  Mother  of  Mercy,  poured  out  her  soul 
in  tears  and  supplication.  In  the  mean  time  the  count  of 
Troja  had  ordered  one  of  his  officers  to  take  little  Baptista 
on  his  horse,  and  carry  him  away  to  a  place  he  appointed ; 
but  from  the  instant  the  child  was  placed  on  the  saddle,  no 
efforts  could  induce  the  animal  to  stir.  Four  of  the  knights 
of  Naples  renewed  the  attempt  with  other  horses,  and  the 
same  result.  There  is  a  strength  greater  than  man's  will ; 
there  is  a  power  that  defeats  human  malice.  Struck  with  a 
secret  terror  by  this  evident  prodigy,  the  count  of  Troja 
gave  up  the  unequal  contest,  and  ordered  the  child  to  be 
restored  to  his  mother.  Before  the  altar  of  Ara  Cceli,  where 
in  her  anguish  she  had  fallen,  Francesca  received  back  into 


192  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March 9 

her  arms  the  son  of  her  love,  and  blessed  the  God  who  had 
given  her  strength  to  go  through  this  the  severest  of  her 

The  States  of  the  Church  and  Rome  were  again  overrun 
by  the  troops  of  Ladislas,  in  1410.  The  horrors  of  this 
invasion,  and  of  the  sack  that  followed  it,  surpassed  in 
atrocity  almost  all  those  that  had  previously  afflicted  the 
capital  of  Western  Christendom.  Lorenzo,  scarcely  re- 
covered from  his  long  illness,  fled  into  a  distant  province. 
It  had  been  impossible  to  remove  his  wife  and  children ; 
and  Francesca  remained  exposed  to  a  succession  of  the 
most  trying  disasters.  The  wealth  of  the  family  chiefly 
consisted  in  their  country  possessions;  and  day  after  day 
intelligence  was  brought  to  her  that  one  farmhouse  or 
another  was  burnt  or  pillaged,  the  cattle  dispersed  or 
destroyed,  and  the  peasants  murdered  by  a  ruthless  soldiery. 
One  fatal  morning  a  troop  of  savage  ruffians,  drunk  with 
rage,  broke  into  the  palace,  and  after  pillaging,  and  all  but 
destroying  the  time-honoured  residence  of  the  Ponziani, 
carried  off  her  son  Baptista.  In  the  space  of  a  few  hours 
that  gorgeous  abode  was  turned  into  a  heap  of  ruins. 
Bereft  of  her  husband,  of  her  son,  and  of  all  the  conven- 
iences of  life,  Francesca,  with  her  two  younger  children, 
remained  alone,  and  unprotected,  for  her  brother-in-law, 
Paluzzo,  was  still  a  prisoner  in  the  tyrant's  hands.  How 
Baptista  escaped  is  not  recorded,  but  by  some  means  01 
other  he  was  enabled  to  get  away  from  Rome  and  rejoin  his 

Francesca  took  shelter  in  a  corner  of  her  ruined  habita- 
tion ;  and  there,  with  Evangelista  and  Agnese,  she  managed 
to  live  in  the  most  complete  seclusion.  These  two  chil- 
dren were  now  their  mother's  only  comfort,  as  their 
education  was  her  principal  occupation.  Evangelista,  as  he 
advanced  in  age,  in  no  way  belied  the  promise  of  his  in- 


*- — * 

March g]  6".  Frances  of  Rome.  193 

fancy.     He  lived  in  spirit  with  the  angels  and  saints,  and 
seemed  more  fitted  for  their  society  than  for  any  earthly 
companionship.     "  To  be  with  God,"  was  his  only  dream  of 
bliss.     The  hour  for  another  sacrifice  was  at  hand.     The 
second   invasion  of  Rome  was   succeeded  by  a  dreadful 
famine,   which  was  followed  in  its  turn  by  a  severe  pesti- 
lence.    Evangelista    sickened   and  died  of  it.     Francesca 
wept  over  the  loss  of  her  dearly-beloved  child,  but  did  not 
grieve  for  him.     It  was  not  a  time  for  indulgence  of  sorrow. 
Want  and   sickness   were   turning    Rome  into   a   charnel 
house.     Wild  voices  were  screaming  for  bread  on  every 
side.     The  streets  were  encumbered  by  the  victims  of  the 
plague.     The  ruin  of  private  property,  the  general  penury 
occasioned  by  the  extortion  of  Ladislas,  and  the  sacking  of 
Rome  by  his  soldiers,  had  cut  off  almost  all  the  resources  of 
private    charity.      Francesca,  bereaved  of  everything  but 
her  one  little  girl,  and  lodged  with  Vannozza  in  a  corner  of 
their  dismantled  house,  had  no  longer  at  her  command  the 
resources  she  had  formerly  possessed  for  the  relief  of  the 
poor.     A  little  food  from  their  ruined  estates  was  now  and 
then  supplied  to  these  lonely  women ;    and   they  stinted 
themselves,  that  they  might  bestow  the  greatest  part  on  the 
sick  and  poor.     There  was  a  large  hall  in  the  lower  part  of 
the   palace ;    the    sisters    converted    it   into  a  temporary 
hospital ;  out  of  the  shattered  furniture  that  lay  scattered 
about  the   house,  they   contrived   to  make  up  beds  and 
covering,  and  to  prepare  some  clothing  for  the  wretched 
creatures    they   were    about    to   receive.      When  all   was 
ready  they  brought  in  sufferers,  carrying  the  weakest  in 
their  arms.     They  washed  and  dressed  their  wounds  and 
sores,  prepared  both  medicine  and  food,  watched  the  sick 
by  day  and  by  night ;  laboured  incessantly  for  their  bodies, 
and  still  more  for  their   souls.     The  example  which   the 
ruined  and   bereaved    wives   of   the   Ponziani   had  given 

vol.  hi.                                                                     13 
* * 

* * 

194  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

kindled  a  similar  spirit  among  the  hitherto  apathetic 
inhabitants  of  Rome,  and  in  several  places  hospitals  were 
opened  to  the  perishing  multitudes.  'Often  Francesca  and 
Vannozza  were  without  a  morsel  of  food  for  themselves  and 
their  poor,  then  they  went  forth  to  beg,  and  gratefully 
accepted  the  broken  bits  that  fell  from  the  table  of  the 
wealthy.  Each  remnant  of  food,  each  rag  of  clothing,  they 
brought  home  with  joy;  and  the  best  was  invariably  be- 
stowed on  their  guests. 

Evangelista  had  been  dead  about  a  year,  when  one  morn- 
ing as  Francesca  was  praying  in  her  oratory,  she  became 
conscious  that  the  little  room  was  suddenly  and  super- 
naturally  illumined.  She  raised  her  eyes,  and  Evangelista 
stood  before  her ;  his  familiar  aspect  unchanged,  but  his 
features  transfigured  and  beaming  with  ineffable  splendour. 
By  his  side  stood  an  angel  of  exquisite  beauty.  Evangelista 
smiling  on  his  mother,  told  her  of  his  present  happiness, 
and  then  bade  her  prepare  to  surrender  her  little  Agnese, 
for  God  called  the  child.  But  a  consolation  was  promised 
her.  Thenceforth  the  angel  who  stood  beside  Evangelista 
was  to  be  ever  with  her,  as  a  visible  companion.  Having 
said  this,  Evangelista  disappeared,  but  the  angel  remained, 
and  to  the  day  of  her  death  was  ever  present  to  her  sight 

The  following  is  the  description  of  the  angel  as  given  by 
Francesca  to  her  confessor,  and  written  down  by  her,  at  his 
order : — 

"  His  stature  is  that  of  a  child,  of  about  nine  years ;  his 
countenance  full  of  sweetness  and  majesty  ;  his  eyes  gene- 
rally turned  towards  heaven.  Words  cannot  describe  the 
divine  purity  of  that  gaze.  His  brow  is  always  serene  ;  his 
glances  kindle  in  the  soul  the  flame  of  ardent  devotion. 
When  I  look  upon  him,  I  understand  the  glory  of  the 
angelic  nature,  and  the  degraded  condition  of  our  own.  He 
wears  a  long,  shining  robe,  and  over  it  a  tunic,  either  as 

*-  — i 

* — * 

March  9.]  S.  Frances  of  Rome.  195 

white  as  the  lilies  of  the  field,  or  of  the  colour  of  a  red  rose, 
or  of  the  hue  of  the  sky,  when  it  is  most  deeply  blue. 
When  he  walks  at  my  side  his  feet  are  never  soiled  by  the 
mud  of  the  streets,  or  the  dust  of  the  roads." 

The  presence  of  her  heavenly  guide  was  to  her  as  a 
mirror,  in  which  she  could  see  reflected  every  imperfection 
of  her  character.  Much  as  she  had  discerned,  even  from 
her  earliest  childhood,  of  the  corruption  of  her  heart,  yet 
she  often  told  her  director  that  it  was  only  since  she  had 
been  continually  in  the  presence  of  an  angelic  companion 
that  she  had'realised  its  amount.  So  that  this  divine  favour, 
far  from  exalting  her  in  her  own  eyes,  served  to  maintain 
her  in  the  deepest  humility.  When  she  committed  any 
fault,  the  angel  faded  away,  and  it  was  only  when  she  had 
felt  compunction  and  confessed  her  fault,  that  he  shone  out 
upon  her  once  more  in  all  his  brilliancy. 

And  now  her  little  Agnes  was  taken  from  her,  and  was 
laid  beside  her  brother  Evangelista. 

Four  long  years  had  elapsed,  during  which  Rome  had 
been  given  up  to  war,  famine,  and  pestilence.  The  exer- 
tions of  Francesca  told  at  last  on  her  enfeebled  frame,  and 
she  fell  dangerously  ill.  Vannozza  never  left  her  bedside, 
and  nursed  her  with  such  love  and  care  that  she  restored 
her  to  health.  It  was  during  this  illness  that  Francesca  had 
a  vision  of  Hell.  And  now,  in  1414,  Ladislas  died,  and 
peace  was  restored  to  the  States  of  the  Church.  The  Pon- 
ziani  were  recalled  from  banishment,  and  their  property  was 
restored.  Lorenzo  and  his  son  Baptista  returned  to  their 
home,  and  to  the  wife  and  mother  they  had  so  longed  to 
behold  again.  But  the  cup  of  joy  was  mixed  with  sorrow. 
Lorenzo,  who  a  few  years  back  was  strong  and  active,  was 
now  broken  by  long  sufferings,  aged  more  through  exile  and 
grief  than  through  years.  We  are  told  that  when  he  entered 
his  palace  and  looked  upon  his  wife,  deep  sobs  shook  his 

* — * 

$ * 

1 96  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

breast,  and  he  burst  into  tears.  The  two  beautiful  children 
whom  he  had  left  by  her  side  were  gone,  and  Francesca 
herself,  pale  with  recent  sickness,  spent  with  ceaseless  labour, 
was  changed  in  form,  and  bloom,  and  brightness,  by  what 
she  also  had  endured. 

The  household  life  was  now  to  some  extent  restored. 
Francesca  devoted  all  her  leisure  moments  to  prayer,  but 
never  allowed  her  spiritual  exercises  to  interfere  with  her 
duty  as  a  wife  and  mistress  of  a  household.  Her  attention 
to  Lorenzo's  slightest  wants  and  wishes  was  unceasing. 
She  never  complained  of  any  amount  of  interruption  or  of 
trouble  which  his  claims,  or  those  of  the  house,  or  of  her 
position  in  society,  occasioned.  One  day  that  she  was 
reciting  in  her  room  the  office  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  her 
husband  sent  for  her.  Instantly  rising  from  her  knees,  she 
obeyed  his  summons.  When  she  had  performed  the  trifling 
service  he  required,  she  returned  to  her  prayers.  Four  suc- 
cessive times,  for  the  most  insignificant  of  purposes,  was 
she  sent  for ;  each  time  with  unwearied  good  humour  she 
complied,  and  resumed  her  devotions  without  a  shadow  of 
discontent  or  annoyance.  On  resuming  her  book  the  last 
time  that  this  occurred,  great  was  her  astonishment  in  find- 
ing the  antiphon  which  she  had  begun  four  times,  and  had 
four  times  left  unfinished,  written  in  letters  of  gold.  Van- 
nozza,  who  was  present,  witnessed  the  miracle,  and  the 
gilded  letters  remained  in  the  book  to  the  day  of  her  death. 

Her  son,  Baptista,  had  now  arrived  at  the  age  of  eighteen, 
and  at  his  father's  advice  he  married  a  maiden,  named 
Mobilia,  of  noble  birth  and  singular  beauty.  Immediately 
upon  her  marriage,  the  bride  came  to  reside  under  the  same 
roof  as  her  father  and  mother-in-law.  She  was  received  as 
a  beloved  daughter  by  Francesca  and  Vannozza,  but  she 
neither  returned  their  affection  nor  appeared  sensible  to 
their  kindness.     Her  head  was  completely  turned  at  finding 

»jt * 

March  9.]  S.  Frances  of  Rome.  197 

herself  her  own  mistress,  adored  by  her  husband,  and  fur- 
nished with  the  most  ample  means  of  gratifying  all  her 
fancies.  She  gave  no  thought  to  anything  but  her  beauty, 
her  dress,  and  all  the  amusements  within  her  reach.  Wholly 
inexperienced,  she  declined  to  ask  or  to  receive  advice,  and 
chose  in  every  respect  to  be  guided  by  her  inclinations 
alone.  Imperious  with  her  equals,  haughty  with  her  supe- 
riors, she  treated  her  mother-in-law  with  the  most  supreme 
contempt.  In  the  gay  societies  which  she  frequented,  it 
was  her  favourite  amusement  to  turn  Francesca  into  ridicule, 
and  mimic  her  manners  and  style  of  conversation.  "  How 
can  one  feel  respect,"  said  she,  "  for  an  old  woman  who 
thinks  of  nothing  but  the  poor,  dresses  plainly,  and  goes 
about  the  streets  carrying  bread  and  old  clothes  ?" 

It  was  in  vain  that  Baptista,  seriously  annoyed  at  the 
insults  offered  to  his  dearly-loved  mother,  remonstrated  with 
his  wife.  Mobilia  persisted  for  long,  till  struck  with  sudden 
illness  in  the  midst  of  a  sharp  and  bitter  speech  addressed 
to  her  mother-in-law,  she  became  alarmed  lest  God  should 
punish  her  with  greater  severity,  and  she  resolved  to  behave 
towards  her  with  respect  and  love.  And  this  grew  till  the 
young  wife  became  passionately  fond  of  Francesca,  and 
venerated  her  for  her  virtues,  which  she  strove  hard  to 
imitate.  Francesca,  with  the  most  watchful  love,  nursed 
Mobilia  in  her  confinements,  and  bestowed  on  her  grand- 
children the  same  cares  that  she  had  lavished  on  her  own 
children.  It  was  a  great  relief  to  her  that  Mobilia  was  able 
to  assume  the  management  of  the  house,  and  thus  enable 
her  to  devote  herself  more  unreservedly  to  the  service  of 
the  poor  and  of  the  hospitals.  A  new  epoch  was  now  at 
hand  in  her  career.  God  had  placed  in  her  heart  many 
years  ago  a  hope,  which  she  had  nursed  in  secret,  and 
watered  with  tears,  and  fostered  by  prayer.  Never  impa- 
tient, never  beforehand  with  God's  providence,  she  waited. 

* , £, 

198  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

Lorenzo's  admiration  and  affection  for  his  wife  had  gone  on 
increasing  with  advancing  years  ;  the  perfection  of  her  life, 
and  the  miracles  he  had  so  often  seen  her  perform,  inspired 
him  with  unbounded  reverence.  Taking  her  aside  one 
day,  he  offered  to  release  her  from  all  the  obligations  im- 
posed by  the  state  of  marriage,  to  allow  her  the  fullest 
liberty  of  action,  and  the  most  absolute  control  over  her 
person,  her  time,  and  her  conduct,  on  one  condition,  that 
she  would  promise  never  to  cease  to  inhabit  his  house. 
She  accepted  his  proposal  joyfully  and  gratefully,  but  she 
continued  to  devote  herself  to  her  excellent  husband,  and 
with  the  most  attentive  solicitude  to  render  him  every  ser- 
vice in  her  power.  He  was  now  in  very  declining  health, 
and  she  rendered  him  by  day  and  by  night  all  the  cares  of 
the  tenderest  nurse. 

Seeing  the  necessity  of  a  religious  society  for  women 
living  in  the  world,  Francesca  now  formed  a  congregation 
of  pious  women,  which  was  affiliated  to  the  Olivetian 
monastery  of  S.  Maria  Nuova,  and  which  comprised  about 
ten  noble  Roman  ladies,  devoted  like  herself  and  Vannozza, 
to  the  service  of  God  and  the  poor.  She  now  lost  her  be- 
loved sister  Vannozza,  and  her  director,  Antonio  Savelli,  who 
had  instructed  her  childhood,  and  guided  her  ever  since  with 
wisdom  and  faithfulness.  She  chose  as  her  director  and 
that  of  her  congregation,  Giovanni  Mattiotti,  curate  of  S. 
Maria  in  Trastevere,  to  whom  she  had  already  sometimes 
been  to  confession.  He  was  a  man  of  distinguished  piety, 
but  of  an  irresolute  and  vacillating  disposition,  easily  dis- 
heartened. Her  society,  which  was  called  the  Congregation 
of  Oblates  of  Mary,  had  lasted  seven  years,  when  Francesca 
decided  that  it  would  be  advisable  that  it  should  have  a 
convent  in  which  to  dwell.  She  took  a  house  adapted  to 
the  requirements  of  a  religious  community,  on  the  spot 
where  an  old  tower,  named   "Tor  di  Specchi,"    used  to 

tit — ■ g 

* £, 

March  9.]  S.  Frances  of  Rome.  199 

stand.       Various  obstacles  arose  to  the  purchase  of  this 
house,  which  disheartened  Mattiotti ;  but  they  were  finally 
overcome,  and  the  acquisition  was  completed  towards  the 
end  of  the  year  1432.     This  house,  which  was  at  first  con- 
sidered only  as  a  temporary  residence,  was  subsequently 
added  to,  and  has  remained  to  this  day  the  central  house  of 
the  order.     It  was,  doubtless,  a  trial  to  Francesca  that  whilst 
she  was  providing  a  home  for  her  disciples,  she  was  unable 
to  avail  herself  of  it,  but  she  never  hesitated  as  to  her  line 
of  duty.     Lorenzo  had  released  her  from  all  obligations  but 
one,  that  of  residing  in  his  house,  and  watching  over  his  old 
age.     His  infirmities  were  increasing,  and  her  attentions 
were  indispensable  to  his  comfort.      The  rule  adopted  by 
the  Oblates  of  Tor  di  Specchi  remains  the  same  to  this  day. 
They  are  not,  strictly  speaking,  nuns  :  they  take  no  vows, 
and  are  bound  by  no  obligations  under  pain  of  sin ;  they 
are  not  cloistered,  and  their  dress  is  that  which  was  worn  at 
■  the  period  of   their  establishment  by  the  widows  of  the 
Roman  nobles. 

It  was  on  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation,  1433,  that  the 
Oblates,  ten  in  number,  met  in  the  church  of  S.  Maria  in 
Trastevere,  heard  Mass,  and  communicated,  then  went  in 
procession  to  the  house  they  were  thenceforth  to  inhabit. 
That  house,  which  now-a-days  is  thrown  open  during  the 
Octave  of  the  Feast  of  S.  Frances,  is  no  gloomy  abode.  The 
beautiful  chapel ;  the  garden,  with  its  magnificent  orange 
trees ;  the  open  galleries,  with  their  little  oratories,  where  a 
holy  picture  or  figure  takes  you  by  surprise,  and  meets  you 
at  every  turn ;  the  light,  airy  rooms,  where  religious  prints 
and  ornaments,  with  flowers,  birds,  and  ingenious  toys, 
testify  that  innocent  enjoyments  are  encouraged  among  the 
children  educated  therein  by  the  Oblates  of  S.  Mary. 

But  on  the  day  when  Francesca's  companions  first  entered 
these  walls,  there  was  nothing  very  fair  or  beautiful  to  greet 

* * 

* — * 

200  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  9. 

them,  though  they  carried  thither,  in  their  hearts,  from  the 
altar  they  had  just  left,   the  source  of  all  light  and  love. 
With  delight  they  exchanged  their  ordinary  dress  for  that 
which  the  rule  prescribed.     Francesca  alone  stood  among 
them  no  nun  in  her  outward  garb,  but  the  truest  nun  of  all, 
through  the  inward  consecration  of  her  whole  being  to  God. 
Francesca  had  been  forty  years  married  to  Lorenzo  Pon- 
ziano,  and  blessed  had   that   union    been    by  the  tender 
affection  which  had  reigned  between  the  husband  and  the 
wife,  and  sanctified  by  the  exercise  of  no  common  virtues, 
by  the  pursuit  of  no  transitory  object.     Francesca  had  led 
the  way,  in  meekness,  in  humility,  in  subjection,  but  with  a 
single  aim  and  an  unwavering  purpose.     Lorenzo's  health 
had  been  breaking  up  for  some  years  past,  and  now  it 
utterly  failed,   and  his  disease  assumed  an  alarming  char- 
acter.    Few  men  would  have  shown  themselves  as  worthy 
as  he  did  of  such  a  wife  as  Francesca.      From  the  moment 
of  his  marriage  he  had  appreciated  her  virtues,  rejoiced  in 
her  piety,  encouraged  her  good  works,  and  to  a  great  extent 
shared  in  them.     He  had  his  reward.     Francesca  tended 
him  to  the  last  with  indefatigable  love.     He  had  been  a  just 
man,  and  his  death  was  the  death  of  the  righteous.     Fran- 
cesca was  now  free  to  follow  the  bent  of  her  desire.     She 
took  leave  of  Mobilia  and  her  son,  and  went  straight  to 
Tor  di  Specchi.     It  was  on  the  21st  of  March,  the  feast  of 
S.  Benedict,  that  she  entered  its  walls,  not  as  the  foundress, 
but  as  a  humble  suppliant  for  admission.     At  the  foot  of 
the  stairs,  having  taken  off  her  black  gown,  her  veil,  and 
her  shoes,  she  knelt  down,  and  made  her  general  confession 
in  the  presence  of  the  community,  and  then  asked  permis- 
sion to  dwell  amongst  the  Oblates.     The  spiritual  daughters 
of  S.  Frances  hastened  to  raise  and  to  embrace  her,  and 
clothing  her  with  their  habit,  they  led  the  way  to  the  chapel, 
where  they  all  returned  thanks  to  God. 




March  9.]  6*.  Fra,7ices  of  Rome.  201 

At  the  same  moment,  her  angel  guardian  was  changed ; 
another,  brighter  and  more  beautiful,  stood  beside  her, 
weaving  a  golden  woof  out  of  threads,  which  he  drew  from 
a  palm  branch.  And  this  angel,  ever  busy  on  this  mystic 
work,  remained  beside  her  till  her  death,  in  place  of  the 

Agnes  de  Lellis,  the  superior,  then  resigned  her  office, 
and  the  sisters  with  one  accord  insisted  on  Francesca  assum- 
ing the  direction  of  the  house.  She  positively  refused  to 
do  so,  but  her  objections  were  overruled  by  the  director, 
and  unable  to  resist  his  orders,  she  assumed  the  office  on 
March  25  th. 

We  have  not  space  to  give  an  account  of  the  life  of  the 
blessed  Francesca  as  a  superior,  or  to  detail  the  miracles 
she  was  enabled  to  work ;  for  these  we  refer  the  English 
reader  to  the  life  of  this  saint  by  Lady  Georgiana  Fullerton. 
On  March  3rd,  1440,  when  Francesca  was  fifty-six  years 
old,  she  was  sent  for  to  see  her  son  Baptista,  who  was  laid 
up  with  a  sharp  attack  of  fever.  She  instantly  obeyed  the 
summons,  and  spent  the  day  at  the  Ponziano  palace ;  but 
towards  evening  she  grew  so  ill  that  she  could  scarcely 
stand.  However,  she  persisted  in  returning  to  her  convent 
On  her  way  she  stopped  at  the  church  of  S.  Maria  in 
Trastevere,  and  found  there  her  confessor,  Giovanni 
Mattiotti,  who,  noticing  her  altered  looks,  ordered  her  at 
once  to  return  to  her  son's  house.  The  order  was  a  trial 
to  her,  for  she  felt  that  she  would  never  again  enter  the 
hallowed  walls  of  Tor  di  Specchi ;  but,  faithful  to  the  spirit 
of  perfect  obedience,  she  went  back  to  the  palace.  In  the 
course  of  the  night  a  virulent  fever  came  on,  and  she  be- 
came so  seriously  ill  that  all  hopes  of  her  recovery  were 
abandoned.  And  now  the  angel  had  nearly  done  his  mystic 
task,  the  golden  web  was  complete,  and  he  folded  up  the 
glistening  tissue  about  the  palm.     The  day  of  March  9th 

* g, 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  9. 

was  far  advanced.  "  What  are  you  saying  ?"  asked  her  con- 
fessor, seeing  her  lips  move.  "The  vespers  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin,"  she  answered,  in  a  scarcely  audible  voice.  As  an 
infant  she  had  begun  the  practice ;  and  on  the  eve  of  her 
death  she  had  not  omitted  it. 

S.  Francesca  was  canonized  May  29th,  1608. 

Relics  in  S.  Maria  Nuova,  at  Rome. 

In  art  she  appears  with  an  angel  by  her  side,  sometimes 
contemplating  Hell  open. 

Symbolic  carving  at  the  Abbey  of  S.   Denis 




March  xai         .SS.  Codratus  and  Others.  203 

March  10. 

SS.  Caius  and  Alexander,  MM.  at  Apamea,  in  Phrygia,  after 

a.d.  171. 
SS.  Codratus,  Dionysius,  Cyprian,   Anectos,   and  Others, 

MM.  at  Corinth,  circ.  a.d.  2$8. 
SS.  Forty  Martyrs  of  Sebaste,  cire.  a.d.  330. 
S.  Macarius,  B.  of  Jerusalem,  circ.  a.d.  33J. 
S.  Kersoo,  B.  in  Scotland,  6th  cent. 
S.  Anastasius  the  Patrician,  C.  in  Egypt,  a.d.  567. 
S.  Droctoveus,  Ab.  at  S.  Germain,  in  Paris,  circ.  a.d.  576. 
S.  Attalus,  Ab.  of  Bobbio,  in  Italy,  a.d.  626. 
S.  Hymelin,  P.  at  fisenaeken,  in  Belgium,  8th  cent. 
B.  John  Sarcander,  P.M.  at  Holleschan,  in  Upper  Silesia,  a.d.  1620.1 


(AFTER  A.D.    171.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  and  those  of  Ado,   Notker,   &c.     Authority : — 
Eusebius,  lib.  v.  c.  16.] 

OTHING  more  of  these  martyrs  is  known  than 
the  brief  mention  in  Eusebius,  quoting  from 
Apollinaris  of  Hierapolis,  that  they  were  natives 
of  Eumenia,  and  that  they  suffered  at  Apamea. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    258.) 

[Inserted  in  the  Menologium  of  the  Emperor  Basil  Porphyrogeneta, 
also  in  the  Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  :— A  Greek  life  published  by 
Bollandus,  of  uncertain  date,  and  very  questionable  authority.] 

In  the  persecution  of  Decius  many  Christians  fled  to  the 
mountains    and    deserts   until  the    tyranny   was  overpast. 

1  Roman  Martyrology.  He  was  born  at  Skotsoehan,  in  1576,  then  became  priest 
of  Holleschan,  where  he  was  put  to  death  with  the  utmost  barbarity  by  Protes- 
tants, on  March  10th,  1614,  partly  out  of  hatred  to  his  religion,  partly  because  he 
would  not  disclose  the  secrets  of  the  confessional. 


204  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  10. 

Amongst  these  was  a  woman  who  was  expecting  her  con- 
finement ;  she  hid  in  a  wild  place  amongst  the  rocks,  and 
there  brought  forth  a  child  whom  she  named  Codratus. 
He  was  brought  up  in  the  desert  during  his  infancy,  and 
growing  to  maturity,  was  joined  by  other  young  men 
desirous  of  a  retired  life.  They  were  taken  before  the 
governor  Jason,  at  Corinth,  and  were  executed. 


(about  a.d.  320.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Amongst  the  Greeks  on  March  9th  ;  the  ancient 
Martyrology  attributed  to  S.  Jerome  on  March  9th,  as  also  that  of  Bede, 
and  most  ancient  Martyrologies.  In  the  Roman,  it  has  been  transferred 
to  the  10th,  because  the  feast  of  S.  Frances  is  a  double.  Authorities  : — 
The  Ancient  Latin  and  Greek  Acts,  the  former  a  recension  of  more  ancient 
Acts,  made  in  900  ;  the  latter  of  less  antiquity,  also  the  Armenian  Acts. 
These  saints  are  spoken  of  by  S.  Ephraem  Synis,  (d.  378),  and  by  S.  Gregory 
Nyssen,  (d.  396),  and  S.  Basil  has  a  sermon  on  them.  There  is  also  a  homily 
upon  them  extant  by  S.  Gaudentius,  B.  of  Brescia,  (375.)  The  invention 
of  their  relics  is  mentioned  by  Sozomen,  Hist.  Eccl.  lib.  ix.  c.  2.] 

When  the  Emperor  Licinius  had  broken  with  his  brother- 
in-law  Constantine,  he  threw  off  the  mask  of  toleration  he 
had  worn,  and  openly  persecuted  the  Christians.  When  in 
Cappadocia,  he  published  an  edict  commanding  every 
Christian,  on  pain  of  death,  to  abandon  his  religion. 
Agricola,  governor  of  Cappadocia  and  Lesser  Armenia, 
resided  at  Sebaste,  where  S.  Blaise,  bishop  of  that  city,  was 
one  of  the  first  victims.  In  the  army  which  was  quartered 
there  was  the  Thundering  Legion.  Its  commanding  officer 
was  Lysias.  Forty  soldiers  of  that  legion,  natives  of  differ- 
ent countries,  but  all  young,  brave,  and  distinguished  for 
their  services,  refused  to  sacrifice  to  the  idols.  When 
Agricola  announced  the  imperial  order  to  the  army,  these 
forty  brave  men  advanced  to  his  tribunal,  and  announced 

«& — * 

* * 

March  io.]     The  Forty  Martyrs  of  Sebaste.         205 

themselves  to  be  Christians.  They  were  at  once  cast  into 
prison,  where  they  raised  the  90th  (91st)  psalm,  in  solemn 
chant,  as  the  darkness  closed  upon  them ;  "  Whoso  dwell- 
eth  under  the  defence  of  the  Most  High ;  shall  abide  under 
the  shadow  of  the  Almighty."  Our  blessed  Lord  appearea 
to  them,  and  bade  them  play  the  man,  and  win  the  crown 
of  victory.  Then  Cyrio,  one  of  the  confessors,  said  to  his 
brethren,  "  It  has  pleased  God  to  unite  us  forty  brethren  in 
one  communion  of  faith  and  warfare,  let  us  not  part  in  life 
or  in  death.  Let  us  ask  of  God  to  send  us  forty  to  our 
crown  together." 

Six  or  seven  days  after  they  were  brought  again  before 
the  governor,  and  were  sentenced  to  be  exposed  naked 
through  the  bitter  winter  night  on  the  ice  of  a  pond ;  but 
he  ordered  that  a  fire  and  warm  bath  should  be  prepared  in 
a  small  building  opening  on  the  pond,  and  that  any  of  the 
confessors  who  should  take  advantage  of  this  should  be 
regarded  as  having  apostatized. 

Night  closed  in  over  the  city.  The  shops  were  shut; 
the  streets  were  still.  Men  went  not  willingly  forth  into 
the  bitter  cold.  No  friendly  cloud  hung  in  the  sky — it 
was  a  clear,  starry  night ; — the  constellations  glowed  in  the 
intense  frost.  The  citizens  heaped  up  their  fires,  and 
gathered  closer  around  them.  The  soldiers  canvassed 
the  constancy  of  the  sufferers.  There,  on  the  frozen  pool, 
stood  the  martyrs  of  Jesus  Christ.  From  the  open  door  of 
the  hut,  a  bright  cheerful  gleam  of  fire-light  shone ;  reflect- 
ing itself  on  the  clear  dark  ice.  Some  presently  fell,  and 
slept  that  sleep  which  ends  only  in  death ;  some  walked 
hurriedly  up  and  down,  as  if  to  keep  in  the  heat  of  life ; 
some  stood  with  their  arms  folded,  almost  lost  in  prayer; 
some  consoled  themselves  and  their  brethren  in  the  conflict. 
They  prayed  earnestly  that  He,  who  had  in  a  special 
manner  consecrated  the  number  forty  to  Himself;  who  had 

4f * 

_ # 

206  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  10. 

bade  Moses  tarry  in  the  mount  forty  days,  who  had  fed 
Elijah  with  that  food,  in  the  strength  whereof  he  went  forty 
days  and  forty  nights ;  who  had  given  Nineveh  forty  days 
for  repentance ;  they  called  on  Him  who  had  Himself 
fasted  forty  days,  and  had  lain  forty  hours  in  death,  not  to 
fail  them  then.  "  Forty  wrestlers,"  they  said,  "  O  Lord,  we 
have  entered  the  arena ;  let  forty  victors  receive  the  prize  !" 

One  of  the  soldiers  guarding  the  pond  was  waiting  by  the 
fire,  and  slept  And  in  his  sleep  he  beheld  this  vision. 
He  stood  by  the  side  of  the  pool,  and  saw  the  martyrs  in 
their  conflict.  As  he  gazed  on  them,  an  angel  came  down 
from  the  sky  with  a  golden  crown  in  his  hands.  Its  bright- 
ness was  not  of  this  world ;  it  was  most  bright,  most 
beautiful.  He  brought  another,  and  another,  and  another, 
till  the  dreamer  perceived  that  he  was  charged  with  the 
everlasting  diadems  of  the  victorious  martyrs.  Nine- 
and-thirty  crowns  he  brought,  but  he  came  not  with  the 

"  What  may  this  mean  ?"  he  asked,  as  he  awoke.  As  he 
was  wondering,  there  was  a  stir  without,  and  the  soldiers 
brought  in  one  of  the  confessors.  He  could  endure  it  no 
more,  he  had  come  to  the  fire  and  the  warm  bath.  He 
who  had  dreamed  went  forth.  Still  the  cloudless  night ;  still 
the  intense  piercing  blast  from  the  range  of  the  Caucasus. 
Most  of  the  sufferers,  on  the  frozen  pool,  had  fallen  where 
they  stood.  To  them  the  bitterness  of  death  was  past; 
for  they  were  in  the  last  fatal  sleep  ;  and  their  diadem, 
though  not  yet  attained,  were  certain.  Others  were 
praying,  "Forty  wrestlers  we  have  entered  the  arena; 
let  forty  victors  receive  the  prize." 

O  wonderful  power  of  prayer  in  all !  but  most  wonderful 
virtue  of  intercession  in  Christ's  martyrs  !  At  that  moment 
a  thought  rushed  into  the  mind  of  the  soldier ;  a  thought  so 
sweet,  so  cheering,  that  the  bitter  Armenian  night  seemed 

* * 

* — — * 

March  io.]     The  Forty  Martyrs  of  Sebaste.  207 

to  him  as  pleasant  as  the  breath  of  a  May  morning.     "  One 
has  fallen  from  his  crown ;  I  may  attain  to  it." 

In  half-an-hour  he  had  roused  the  governor  from  Ms 
sleep,  and  had  professed  himself  a  Christian.  In  half-an- 
hour  more  he  stood  himself  on  the  frozen  pool,  a  confessor 
among  the  other  confessors.  And  there  was  yet  life  in 
some  of  the  sufferers  to  hail  this  new  brother  in  arms  in  the 
spiritual  warfare.  He,  too,  contending  to  the  end,  received 
the  prize ;  the  virtue  of  Baptism,  as  the  Church  has  ever 
taught,  being  supplied  to  him  in  this  case  by  the  grace  of 
that  martyrdom  whereof  he  was  accounted  worthy. 

Morning  broke  at  last,  and  a  few  still  lived,  amongst 
others  Melithon,  the  youngest  of  the  soldiers.  Agricola 
ordered  the  legs  and  arms  of  those  who  survived  to  be 
broken,  and  as  the  order  was  carried  into  execution,  they 
sang  faintly  with  their  frozen  lips,  "  Our  soul  hath  escaped 
out  of  the  snare  of  the  fowler ;  the  snare  is  broken,  and  we 
are  delivered."  The  mother  of  Melithon  was  present.  She 
raised  him  in  her  arms,  and  laid  him  with  the  other  bodies 
in  the  wagon  which  was  to  convey  them  to  a  fire  in  which 
they  were  all  to  be  consumed.  Melithon  still  lived,  and 
smiled  faintly  upon  her.  "  Oh,  son  of  my  bosom,  how  glad 
am  I  to  see  thee  offer  to  Christ  the  last  remains  of  thy  life. 
Blessed  is  the  womb  that  bare  thee,  and  the  paps  that  thou 
hast  sucked  !"  And  she  followed  the  tumbril  to  the  fire  into 
which  her  yet  breathing  son  was  cast,  together  with  the 
frozen  bodies  of  his  comrades. 

A  few  fragments  still  remain  of  the  church,  which  in  after 
years  was  raised  on  the  scene  of  the  martyrdom.  The  names 
of  these  martyrs  were  Quirio  or  Cyrio,  Candidus,  Domnus, 
Melitho,  Domitian,  Eunoicus,  Sisinius,  Heraclius,  Alex- 
ander, John,  Claudius,  Athanasius,  Valens,  Helianus, 
Ecditius,  Acacius,  Vivianus,  Helias,  Theodulus,  Cyrillus, 
Flavius,    Severian,    Valerius,     Chudio,    Sacerdo     Priscus, 

* * 

* $1 

208  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

Eutychius,  Smaragdus,  Philoctimo,  Aetius,  Nicolas,  Lysim- 
achus,  Theophilus,  Xantheas,  Augias,  Leontius,  Hesychius, 
Caius  and  Gorgo. 

(about  a.d.  335.) 

[Roman   Martyrology.      Authorities  : — Eusebius,  Theodoret  Socrates.] 

S.  Macarius  was  created  bishop  of  Jerusalem  in  the  year 
314.  He  was  present  at  the  great  council  of  Nicasa,  against 
Arius,  whom  he  always  opposed  from  the  beginning  of  his 
heretical  teaching.  The  historian  Socrates  has  preserved 
for  us  a  letter  written  to  him  by  the  Emperor  Constantine. 
There  was  another  Macarius,  bishop  of  the  same  see,  in  the 
reign  of  the  Emperor  Justinian,  who  was  driven  from  his 
see  for  defending  the  heresy  of  the  Origenists ;  but  having 
recanted,  was  restored. 

S.  KESSOG,  B.  C. 
(6th  cent.) 

[Aberdeen  Breviary.  Authority  : — David  Camerarius,  Thomas  Demp- 
ster, and  the  Lections  in  the  Breviary.] 

Kessog  or  Makkessog,  as  he  is  otherwise  called,  an 
Irish  prince  by  birth,  and  an  itinerary  bishop  in  the  pro- 
vince of  Boyne,  laboured  for  the  spread  of  the  Gospel  in 
Scotland.  He  is  said  to  have  settled  in  Lennox;  and 
Thomas  Dempster  says  he  was  represented  in  art  dressed 
as  a  soldier  with  a  bow  in  his  hand  and  a  quiver  at  his 

* — * 

* * 

March  io.]  ,£  Droctoveus.  209 

(about  a.d.  576.) 

[Roman  and  Gallican  Martyrologies.  Usuardus,  and  Maurolycus. 
Authority  : — An  ancient  life  written  after  the  destruction  of  the  original  life 
by  the  Danes  when  they  burnt  the  monastery  of  S.  Germain.] 

S.  Droctoveus,  vulgarly  called  in  France  S.  Drotte', 
was  born  in  the  diocese  of  Autun,  in  Burgundy.  In  his 
youth  he  was  placed  with  S.  Germain,  in  the  abbey  of  S. 
Symphorian,  at  Autun,  of  which  he  was  abbot.  He  was 
formed  there  upon  the  most  perfect  model  of  virtue. 
S.  Germain  having  been  elevated  to  the  bishopric  of  Paris, 
wished  to  continue  to  live  as  a  monk.  Wherefore  he  with- 
drew his  disciple  Uroctoveus  from  the  abbey  of  S.  Sym- 
phorian, and  brought  him  to  Paris.  King  Childebert  having 
built  a  church  in  which  to  place  the  stole  of  S.  Vincent, 
which  he  had  carried  back  with  him  from  Saragossa  in  the 
year  542,  on  his  return  from  his  Spanish  expedition,  and 
chosen  this  church  as  his  place  of  sepulture,  he  was  buried 
there  in  558,  and  S.  Germain  dedicated  the  church  on  the 
same  day  as  his  burial,  under  the  title  SS.  Cross  and 
Vincent.  He  established  a  monastery  adjoining  it,  over 
which  he  set  S.  Droctoveus,  with  whose  virtues  he  was  well 
acquainted.  Droctoveus  governed  the  monastery  for  twenty 
years,  and  established  its  fame.  The  monks  afterwards 
embraced  the  rule  of  S.  Benedict,  and  the  house  and 
church  took  the  name  of  S.  Germain  after  the  body  of  that 
prelate  had  been  transferred  to  it 

vol..  hi.  14 

# — * 

2io  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  10. 

(8th  cent.) 

[Belgian  Martyrology  of  Molanus,  Aberdeen  Breviary,  and  Anglican 
Martyrology.  Authority  : — A  life  founded  on  notices  in  the  Martyrologies 
and  popular  tradition,  by  John  Gilleman,  about  1480.] 

The  Blessed  Hymelin,  priest  and  confessor,  was  a  near 
relative  of  S.  Rumbold,  and  an  Irishman.  Of  his  early  life 
nothing  is  known.  He  undertook  a  pilgrimage  to  Rome, 
and  on  his  return  was  attacked  by  a  virulent  fever  at 
Vissenaeken,  near  Tirlemont,  in  Brabant  He  sank  ex- 
hausted on  a  bank,  and  a  girl  noticed  his  haggard  looks 
and  evident  sickness  as  she  was  returning  from  the  well 
with  her  pitcher.  Hymelin  extended  his  hands  to  her,  and 
implored  her  to  give  him  a  draught  of  water,  but  she  had 
received  strict  orders  from  her  master,  the  curate  of  the 
place,  not  to  let  any  one  touch  the  pitcher,  as  the  plague 
was  then  raging,  and  he  feared  infection.  She  therefore 
reluctantly  refused  the  draught 

"  I  am  very  sick,  and  perhaps  dying,"  said  the  Irish 
pilgrim  ;  "  I  pray  you  deny  me  not  this  little  gift." 

"  My  good  friend,"  answered  the  maid,  "  I  would  gladly 
refresh  you,  were  it  not  that  I  am  under  orders.  But 
come  home  to  my  master,  and  he  will  give  you  food  and 
drink  of  the  very  best."  "  I  cannot  stir  from  this  place,  I 
am  far  too  ill,"  said  Hymelin ;  "  I  pray  you  let  me  taste  the 
cool  water.  I  am  consumed  with  thirst"  She  looked  at 
the  man's  ghastly  countenance  with  fiery  spots  on  the 
cheek,  and  was  unable  to  refuse  any  longer,  so  she  held  her 
pitcher  to  his  lips;  he  drank,  thanked  her,  and  she  went 
to  her  master  with  the  vessel  The  curate  took  the  pitcher, 
set  it  to  his  lips,  and  drawing  it  suddenly  away,  exclaimed, 
"  Thou  hast  brought  me  wine,  not  water  !"     And  it  was  so. 

* * 



March  10.] 

.S.  Hymelin. 


The  water  had  been  convened  into  wine.  Then  she  told 
him  all  that  she  had  done;  and  he  ran  and  brought  the 
wayfarer  to  his  house,  and  laid  him  on  his  bed,  and  nursed 
him  till  he  died.  And  as  the  soul  of  Hymelin  fled,  the 
chimes  of  the  church  began  to  play  sweetly  in  the  air, 
though  no  man  touched  the  bells.  Hymelin  was  buried  in 
the  parish  church  of  Vissenaeken,  where  his  body  still 
remains,  and  every  year,  on  March  ioth,  attracts  a  large 
concourse  of  pilgrims. 

Symbolic  car-dug   at  the  Abbey  of  S.    Denis 



* ^ 

212  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March »». 

March  11. 

S.  Gordo,  Af.  at  tours. 

S.  Alberta,  y.M.  at  Agen,  a.d.  a86. 

SS.  Trophimus  and  Thalus,  AfAf.  at  Laodicea,  eire.  a.d.  306. 

S.  Vincent,  Ab.,  Af.  at  Leon,  in  Spain,  circ.  a.d.  jjj. 

S.  Constantine,  K.,  Monk  and  M.,  in  Scotland,  circ.  a.d.  J76. 

S.  Sophronius,  Pair.  of  Jerusalem,  a.d.  638. 

S.  Vioilius,  B.Af.  of  Auxerre,  a.d.  689. 

S.  Vindician,  B.  of  Cambrai  and  Arras,  circ.  a.d.  <ji2. 

S.  Euthymius,   B.M.  at  Sardis,  circ.  a.d.  827. 

S.  Anous  of  Keld,  B.  and  Ab.  in  Ireland,  circ.  a.d.  834. 

S.  Eulooius,  P.M.  at  Cordova,  a.d.  859. 

S.  Peter  the  Spaniard,  H.  at  Babuto,  in  the  Campagna  of  Rome, 

S.  Auria,  V.  in  Spain,  circ.  a.d.  iioo. 

S.  GORGO,  M. 
(date  unknown.) 

[Gallican  Martyrology.     Authority  : — An  account  of  the  Translation  of 
his  relics  by  an  eye-witness  in  847,  published  by  Bollandus.l 

|T  TOURS,  on  this  day  is  celebrated  the  festival 
of  S.  Gorgo  the  martyr,  whose  body,  found  at 
Rome,  on  the  Appian  way,  near  that  of  S. 
Cecilia,  was  transported  to  the  great  monastery 
of  Tours  in  847,  and  on  the  way  worked  many  miracles 
of  healing.  The  Roman  Martyrology  names  on  the  same 
day  another  Gorgo,  martyr  at  Antioch,  of  whom  nothing 
further  is  known. 

S.  ALBERTA,  V.  M. 
(a.d.    286.) 

[Venerated  at  Agen.      Authority  : — The  Agen  Breviary.] 

Alberta,  the  sister  of  S.  Faith  in  blood  and  religion,  and 
one  of  the  first  martyrs  of  the  Agenois,  earned  the  double 



March  ii.]  ,5".  Vincent.  213 

crown  of  virginity  and  martyrdom.  Her  relics,  long  pre- 
served at  Pe'rigueux  with  those  of  S.  Phebadas,  were  trans- 
lated to  the  church  of  Benerque,  on  the  Arie'ge,  where  they 
are  preserved  to  this  day. 

S.  VINCENT,  AB.  M. 

(ABOUT   A.D.     555.) 

[Benedictine  Martyrology,  and  that  of  Leon,  and  other  Spanish 
churches.  Tamayus  Salazar  complains,  "The  Acts  of  S.  Vincent  are 
shut  up  in  the  Spanish  Benedictine  Libraries,  and  are  never  shown  by  the 
most  reverend  fathers,  possibly  lest  they  should  become  too  common,  con- 
tent rather  that  they  should  lie  in  bags  and  boxes,  buried  in  dust  and  cob- 
webs, rather  than  exposed  for  the  public  benefit."  We  have,  accordingly, 
in  Bollandus,  only  a  compendium  of  the  Acts  by  the  historian,  Antonio 
Yepes,  gathered  from  MSS.,  at  Leon,  and  the  lections  of  the  monastic 
breviary  of  Coimbra.] 

When  the  Vandals  overran  Spain,  in  company  with  the 
Suevi  and  the  Alani,  the  Suevi  settled  down  in  Gallicia  and 
part  of  Portugal,  whilst  the  Vandals  crossed  into  North 
Africa.  They  were  Arians,  and  their  king,  Hermanrik,  and 
his  son,  Richild,  harrassed  the  Catholics  in  every  way  pos- 
sible, destroying  or  seizing  on  their  churches.  The  Arians 
drew  Vincent,  abbot  of  S.  Claudius,  before  the  prince, 
charging  him  with  contempt  of  the  laws  made  against  the 
Catholics.  He  boldly  proclaimed  the  divinity  of  Jesus 
Christ  before  the  king,  and  was  ordered  to  be  beaten  and 
thrown  into  prison.  Next  day  he  was  again  brought  before 
the  king,  and  was  condemned  to  death.  The  executioner 
struck  at  him  with  his  sword,  and  clave  his  skull.  His 
martyrdom  was  followed  by  that  of  the  prior,  Ramirus,  and 
twelve  of  the  monks  of  his  house. 

Relics  :  the  body  of  S.  Vincent  in  the  cathedral  of  Oviedo. 
The  body  of  S.  Ramirus  was  translated,  April,  26th,  1596, 
to  the  monastery  of  S.  Claudius,  at  Leon. 

* — * 


214  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  h. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    576.) 

[Aberdeen  Breviary,  Cologne  and  German  Martyrologies.  Not  to  be 
confused  with  Constantine,  the  successor  of  king  Arthur,  nor  with  Con- 
stantine,  the  Scottish  king,  who  resigned  his  throne  to  live  as  a  monk  at  S. 
Andrews,  in  943.  Authority : — The  Aberdeen  Breviary,  John  Fordun, 
John  of  Tynemouth,  and  mention  in  the  Life  of  S.  David.] 

Constantine,  son  of  Padarn,  king  of  Cornwall,  was 
married  to  the  daughter  of  the  king  of  Brittany,  but  had 
the  misfortune  to  lose  his  wife  by  death  shortly  after.  He 
was  so  deeply  attached  to  her,  that  he  could  find  no  rest  in 
his  loneliness.  Therefore,  resigning  his  crown,  and  bidding 
farewell  to  his  subjects,  he  crossed  over  into  Ireland,  and 
entered  a  monastery,  without  declaring  who  he  was,  and 
whence  he  came.  He  was  ordered  to  grind  the  corn  for 
the  brothers ;  and  for  seven  years  he  filled  this  situation. 
But  one  day  as  he  sat  in  the  granary,  working  the  rude  stone 
quern  with  his  hands,  and  thinking  himself  alone,  he  laughed, 
and  said,  "Is  this  then,  king  Constantine  of  Cornwall,  who 
wore  helm  and  bore  shield,  who  drudges  thus  at  a  hand' 
mill  ?     It  is  the  same,  and  it  is  not  the  same." 

Now  it  happened  that  one  of  the  brethren  was  in  the 
granary  and  heard  this,  therefore  he  stole  off  unperceived 
to  the  abbot,  and  told  him  who  his  miller  was.  Then  the 
abbot  called  the  others,  and  all  the  brethren  hasted  to  the 
mill,  and  drew  Constantine  therefrom,  and  made  him  one  of 
themselves,  instructed  him  in  letters;  and  finally,  by  the 
grace  of  God,  he  was  ordained  priest.  And  after  that,  he 
bade  them  all  farewell,  and  crossed  over  into  Scotland, 
and  was  with  S.  Columba  and  S.  Kentigern,  who  sent  him 
to  preach  the  Word  in  Galloway.  And  afterwards  he  was 
made  abbot,  but  of  what  monastery  is  not  specified,  though 
there  can  be  little  doubt  it  was  Glasgow.     Now,  when  he 


March  ii.]      .5VS-.  Sophronius  &  Vindician.         215 

was  very  old,  he  went  a  mission  into  Kintyre,  where  he  was 
assailed  by  the  heathen,  who  knocked  him  down  and  cut 
off  his  right  arm.  Having  called  his  brethren  about  him, 
and  blessed  them,  he  gently  bled  to  death.  He  is  regarded 
as  the  first  martyr  of  Scotland. 

(a.d.    638.) 

[Greek  Menologium  and  Menaea  on  this  day,  also  the  Roman  Martyr- 
ology.  Authorities  : — His  Life  collected  from  various  sources,  by  Bollan- 
dus,  and  an  epitome  of  his  life  in  the  Greek  Menaea.] 

Sophronius,  surnamed  the  Sophist,  was  the  son  of  pious 
parents  at  Damascus.  His  learning  and  virtue  caused  his 
election  to  the  patriarchal  throne  of  Jerusalem.  On  the 
invasion  and  capture  of  Jerusalem,  by  Chosroes,  king  of 
Persia,  Sophronius  fled  to  his  friend,  S.  John  the  Almsgiver, 
(Jan.  23rd,)  patriarch  of  Alexandria,  who  supported  him  till 
he  was  able  to  return  to  his  see.  He  held  a  synod  at  Jeru- 
salem, against  the  Monothelites,  and  drew  up  a  synodal 
letter  on  that  occasion,  which  was  sent  to  pope  John  IV. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    712.) 
[Arras  Martyrology.     Authority  : — A  Life  by  Balderic,  bishop  of  Noyon.] 

This  saint  was  a  disciple  of  S.  Eligius.  He  was  born  at 
Bulcourt,  in  Bapaume,  about  the  year  620.  He  spent  many 
years  in  seclusion  on  Mont  S.  Eloi,  where  S.  Eligius  lived 
with  ten  others,  in  the  practice  of  great  austerities.  He 
was  nominated  by  S.   Aubert,  bishop  of  Arras,  his  vicar- 

H» jj, 

* ■ — — ' * 

216  Lives  of  tlie  Saints.  March  M. 

general.  In  675,  on  the  death  of  S.  Aubert,  he  was  elected 
bishop  of  Cambrai  and  Arras.  He  completed,  in  691,  the 
abbey  of  S.  Waast,  begun  by  his  predecessor,  dedicated  the 
church  of  the  monastery  of  Elnone,  and  that  of  the  abbey 
of  Hasnon.  S.  Leger,  bishop  of  Autun,  having  been  killed 
by  Ebroin,  mayor  of  the  palace,  and  as  the  king,  Thierry 
III.,  was  suspected  of  having  connived  at  the  deed,  several 
bishops  deemed  it  expedient  to  remonstrate  with  the  king, 
through  some  one  of  authority  and  renown  for  his  sanctity. 
Vindician  was  chosen  for  this  dangerous  task,  and  he  exe- 
cuted the  commission  with  such  prudence  and  firmness,  that 
he  attracted  the  admiration  of  the  court,  and  succeeded  in 
bringing  the  king  to  repentance.  On  his  return  to  his 
diocese,  he  built  the  monastery  of  Honcourt ;  and  at  last, 
wearied  with  the  cares  of  his  diocese,  he  laid  them  aside, 
and  retired,  to  be  alone  with  God,  and  prepare  for  his 
passage,  into  a  hermitage  on  Mont  S.  Eloi,  and  died  at  the 
age  of  ninety-two.  His  relics  are  preserved  in  the  cathedral 
of  Arras. 


(ABOUT   A.D.     827.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  By  the  Greeks  on  Dec.  nth.  Authorities: — The 
Greek  Menaea,  and  the  Acts  of  the  second  council  of  Nicaea,  also  the 
Chronography  of  Leo  the  Grammarian,  Cedrenus,  Zonaras,  &c] 

S.  Euthymius,  bishop  of  Sardis,  was  one  of  the  most 
zealous  defenders  of  images  against  the  Iconoclastic  em- 
perors. He  flourished  under  the  empress  Irene,  and  her 
son,  Constantine  VI.,  as  abbot,  but  was  then  created  bishop, 
and  took  a  prominent  part  in  the  second  council  of  Nicaea. 
Under  the  emperor  Nicephorus  he  was  sent  into  exile,  to- 
gether with  other  bishops,  to  Patalarea,  for  having  admitted 
a  virgin  to  the  religious  life.     For  the  next  nine-and-twenty 

* . 4 

* — -* 


March  ii.]  ,5".  Angus  of  Keld.  217 

years  he  did  not  see  his  diocese.     When  Leo  the  Armenian 
assumed  the  purple,  he   recalled    Euthymius,    but  before 
restoring  him  to  his  see,  he  demanded  of  him  whether  he 
venerated  images.     The  saint  boldly  replied,  "  O  emperor, 
it  belongs  not  to  thee  to  meddle  with  the  affairs  of  the 
Church.     To  thee  is  given  the  care  of  the  State  and  the 
government  of  the  army.     Attend  to  them,  and  suffer  the 
Church  to  remain  faithful."     This  answer  so  angered  Leo, 
that  he  ordered  him  to  be  banished  to  Assos.    On  the  death 
of  Leo  by  assassination,  his  successor,  Michael  the  Stam- 
merer, recalled  Euthymius,  and  again  demanded  whether  he 
reverenced  sacred  images.     And  when  Euthymius  protested 
that  he  reverenced  whatever  represented  or  recalled  Christ, 
the  tyrant  banished  him  to  Acrita,  where  he  was  cast  into 
a   noisome    dungeon,    and   afterwards,     by   the   emperor's 
orders,  was  brought  out  and  stretched  on  the  ground,  with 
his  hands  and  feet  attached  to  posts,  at  the  utmost  disten- 
tion possible,  and  then  was  cut  and  lashed  with  cow-hide 
scourges,  till  he  died. 

S.  ANGUS  OF  KELD,  B.  AB. 

(ABOUT   A.D.     824.) 
[Irish  Martyrology.     Authority  :— Colgan.] 

Angus,  surnamed  Kel-Dhu,  a  man  of  great  love  and 
fervour  in  the  service  of  God,  was  born  in  Ireland  in 
the  eighth  century,  of  the  race  of  the  Dalrhidians, 
kings  of  Ulster.  In  his  youth,  renouncing  the  pomp 
and  vanities  of  the  world  and  all  earthly  pretensions, 
he  chose  Christ  for  his  inheritance,  and  entered  religion  in 
the  famous  monastery  of  Cluain-Edneach,  in  East  Meath, 
under  the  holy  abbot  Malathgen.  There  he  became  such  a 
proficient  in  virtue  and  learning  that  he  was  thought  to 



% _ — * 

218  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

excel  all  others  in  Ireland.  He  is  said  to  have  sung  a 
hundred  and  fifty  psalms  every  day,  fifty  of  which  he  recited 
standing  up  to  his  neck  in  water,  in  winter  and  summer ;  and 
three  hundred  times  a  day  he  adored  God  on  his  bended 
knees.  Finding  that  his  sanctity  attracted  attention,  he 
privately  withdrew  from  his  monastery,  and  disguising  him- 
self, took  refuge  in  that  of  Tamlacht,  three  miles  from 
Dublin,  where  he  was  received  as  an  outside  novice  by  the 
abbot  Moelruan,  and  for  seven  years  was  given  the  meanest 
drudgery  of  the  monastery.  At  length  his  great  merit  was 
discovered,  and  his  name  having  been  found  out,  the  abbot 
apologised  to  him  for  having  set  him  such  degrading  tasks, 
and  brought  him  into  the  brotherhood.  S.  Angus  became 
afterwards  abbot  of  Desert-Aenguis  and  Cluain-Edneach, 
where  he  was  raised  to  the  office  of  bishop,  the  abbots  in 
the  ancient  Irish  Church  being  very  generally  bishops  as 
well,  but  without  territorial  jurisdiction. 

S.  Angus  is  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  famous  writers 
of  Ireland.  He  composed  a  metrical  martyrology,  and  five 
books  of  lives  of  the  saints  of  Ireland,  together  with  other 

S.  EULOGIUS,  P.  M. 
(a.d.    859.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  : — An  account  of  his  life  and  martyr- 
dom by  his  friend  Alvar.] 

Eulogius  belonged  to  one  of  the  principal  families  of 
Cordova,  then  in  the  hands  of  the  Moors,  who  had  consti- 
tuted it  their  capital.  These  Mohammedans,  who  had 
ruined  the  Gothic  kingdom  in  Spain,  had  not  succeeded  in 
trampling  out  Christianity.  They  did,  indeed,  suffer  Chris- 
tians to  exercise  their  religion,  and  for  this  indulgence  they 
obliged  them  to  pay  a  heavy  tax,  but  Christians  were  strictly 

4,. « 

* — — * 

March  iij  S.    EulogillS.  219 

forbidden,  on  pain  of  death,  to  make  converts.  Eulogius 
had  a  fellow  scholar  at  Chute-Clar,  a  monastery  on  the 
north-west  of  Cordova,  named  Alvar,  to  whom  he  was 
warmly  attached,  and  who  became  afterwards  his  biographer. 
On  reaching  his  maturity,  Eulogius  taught  letters  in  Cordova, 
and  was  ordained  priest  In  the  year  850,  the  Moors  began 
to  persecute  the  Christians,  and  the  metropolitan  bishop  of 
Andalusia,  Reccafred,  instead  of  defending  his  flock  against 
the  wolves,  basely  taking  the  part  of  the  king,  Abderahman, 
arrested  all  the  clergy  of  Cordova,  together  with  their  bishop, 
and  threw  them  into  prison.  S.  Eulogius,  from  his  dungeon, 
wrote  an  exhortation  to  two  virgins,  named  Flora  and  Mary, 
exhorting  them  to  stand  fast  in  the  faith.  "  They  threaten 
to  sell  you  as  slaves,  and  dishonour  you,  my  daughters,  but 
know  that  whatever  infamy  they  may  heap  upon  you,  they 
cannot  defile  the  virginal  purity  of  your  souls."  But  these 
holy  maidens  were  spared  this  terrible  humiliation,  being 
executed  with  the  sword.1  S.  Eulogius  and  the  other  pri- 
soners heard  with  joy  of  their  triumph,  and  celebrated  a 
mass  of  thanksgiving  to  God  in  their  dungeon. 

Six  days  after,  S.  Eulogius  and  the  other  priests  were  re- 
leased ;  and  he  at  once  composed  a  metrical  account  of  the 
passion  of  the  virgins  Flora  and  Mary. 

Under  Mohammed,  the  successor  of  Abderahman,  the 
persecution  became  still  more  cruel,  and  S.  Eulogius  was 
constantly  employed  in  encouraging  timorous  Christians, 
who,  to  escape  death,  or  the  irksome  disabilities  and  petty 
tyranny  to  which  they  were  subjected,  were  prepared  to 
desert  Christ 

The  number  of  martyrs  at  this  time  was  very  great,  and 

1  It  is  not  known  what  the  occasion  of  the  persecution  was,  and  why  the  metro- 
politan sided  against  the  bishop  of  Cordova  and  his  clergy,  but  there  is  every  pro- 
bability that  it  was  because  they  had  attempted  the  conversion  of  some  of  the  Moors  ; 
and  Reccafred,  as  a  moderate  man,  preferred  quiet  and  toleration  to  missionary 
efforts  and  persecution. 


220  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ». 

Eulogius  collected  all  the  acts  of  their  passion  into  a  history, 
in  three  books,  entitled  "  The  Memorial,"  which  still  exists. 
He  then  composed  an  "  Apology  "  against  those  who  dis- 
puted their  title,  as  martyrs,  because,  firstly,  they  wrought  no 
miracles  like  the  ancient  martyrs ;  secondly,  they  had  offered 
themselves  to  death ;  thirdly,  they  had  died  by  a  stroke  of 
the  sword  instead  of  through  lingering  torture;  fourthly,  they 
had  not  been  killed  by  idolators,  but  by  Mohammedans, 
who  worshipped  the  One  true  God. 

After  the  death  of  the  archbishop  of  Toledo,  the  clergy 
and  people  of  that  city  cast  their  eyes  on  Eulogius,  as  his 
successor.  But  God  was  about  to  crown  him  with  martyr- 
dom. There  was  in  Cordova  a  girl  named  Leocritia,  who 
had  been  converted  from  Mohammedanism  to  Christianity. 
For  a  Moslem  to  profess  the  religion  of  Christ  was  death. 
To  save  her,  Eulogius  hid  her  in  the  house  of  his  sister, 
Annulona,  and  when  the  officers  of  justice  were  in  pursuit 
of  her,  he  conveyed  her  from  one  Christian  house  to  an- 
other. But  this  could  not  last  long.  The  place  of  her 
concealment  was  discovered,  and  Leocritia  was  taken,  and 
Eulogius,  for  having  secreted  her,  was  also  confined.  He 
was  ordered  to  execution,  and  was  decapitated  on  Saturday, 
March  nth,  859,  and  Leocritia  suffered  the  following  Wed- 
nesday, and  was  buried  in  the  church  of  S.  Genes,  at 
Cordova.  Because  March  nth  usually  falls  in  Lent,  the 
Church  of  Cordova  transfers  the  feast  of  S.  Eulogius  to  June 
1  st,  the  day  of  the  first  translation  of  his  body,  and  observes 
it  with  an  Octave.  The  body  was  afterwards  carried  to 
Oviedo,  together  with  that  of  S.  Leocritia,  on  Jan.  19th, 
883,  and  a  third  translation  took  place  to  Camarasanta,  in 
1300.     For  Flora  and  Mary,  see  November  24. 

*— * 

March  no  S.  Peter  the  Spaniard.  221 

(date  uncertain.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authorities: — A  Life  from  MS.  of  Babuco, 
published  by  Bollandus.] 

S.  Peter  was  the  son  of  noble  parents  in  Spain,  and  was 
brought  up  in  the  profession  of  arms.  In  the  army  he  dis- 
tinguished himself  as  much  by  his  zeal  for  souls  and  purity 
of  life,  as  by  his  courage.  His  parents  having  insisted  on 
his  marriage,  he  yielded  with  great  repugnance,  for  his  heart 
was  drawn  elsewhere,  and  he  desired  to  live  a  virgin  life  to 
his  dear  master  Jesus.  The  marriage  ceremony  took  place, 
and  when  the  banquet  was  over,  he  retired  to  the  bridal 
chamber,  where  he  saw  the  fair  young  girl  who  had  giveD 
him  her  hand  lying  asleep  on  the  bed.  She  looked  so 
pure  and  innocent  in  her  slumber,  that  he  gazed  on  her 
with  reverence,  and  kneeling  at  her  feet,  prayed  long  and 
earnestly ;  and  then  stealing  away,  left  the  house,  and  fled 
the  country.  Taking  his  passage  on  a  boat  for  Italy,  he 
reached  the  eternal  city,  and  going  forth  into  the  Campagna, 
found  a  place  suitable  for  a  cell,  and  there  buried  himself 
from  the  world. 

* ^ 



Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  u. 


March  12. 

SS.  Peter,  Gorgonius,  Dorotheus,  Maxima,  and  Others,  MM. 

at  Nicomedia,  A.D.  302. 
S.  Paul  of  Leon,  B.C.  in  Brittany,  a.d.  573. 
S.  Gregory  the  Great,  Pope,  D.,  a.d.  604. 
S.  Peter,  Deacon  ofS.  Gregory,  at  Rome,  a.d.  605. 
S.  Muran,  Ab.  of  Fathinis,  in  Ireland,  circ.  a.d.  650. 
S.  Theophanes,  Ab.  C,  at  Constantinople,  a.d.  820. 
S.  Alphege  the  Bald,  B.  of  Winchester,  a.d.  951.     See  September  u 
S.  Bernard,  B.C.  at  Capua,  a.d.  nog. 
S.  Fina,  V.  in  Tuscany,  a.d.  1253. 


(a.d.  302.) 

[Usuardus,  those  of  SS.  Jerome,  Bede,  &c.,  the  Irish  Martyrology  of 
Tamlach,  and  the  Roman  Martyrology.  Authorities  : — Eusebius,  lib.  viii. 
c.  6,  and  the  notices  in  the  Martyrologies.] 

[HE  Emperor  Diocletian  having  discovered  that 
Peter,  one  of  his  officers  of  the  bed-chamber, 
was  a  Christian,  ordered  him  to  be  tortured. 
Then  Gorgonius  and  Dorotheus,  two  other 
officers,  filled  with  indignation,  exclaimed,  "Why,  Sire, 
dost  thou  thus  torment  Peter  for  what  we  all  profess  in  our 
hearts  ?"  The  emperor  at  once  ordered  them  to  execution, 
together  with  Migdo,  a  priest,  and  many -other  Christians  of 
Nicomedia.  Eusebius  says  that  Peter  was  scourged  till  his 
bones  were  laid  bare,  and  that  then  vinegar  and  salt  was 
poured  over  the  wounds;  and  as  he  bore  this  without 
showing  anguish,  Diocletian  ordered  him  to  be  broiled  on  a 
gridiron  slowly,  and  his  flesh,  as  it  roasted,  to  be  taken  off 
slowly,  so  as  to  protract  his  torments.  Gorgonius  and 
Dorotheus,  after  having  been  tortured,  were  hung. 


*— * 

March  no  ^S.  Paul  of  Leon.  223 

S.  PAUL  OF  LEON,  B.  C. 

(A.D.    573.) 

[Venerated  in  Brittany,  in  the  Churches  of  Leon,  Nantes,  &c  and  intro- 
duced into  later  Martyrologies.  Authority  : — A  life  written  by  Worwonock, 
monk  of  Landevenec,  in  the  9th  cent,  but  rewritten,  or  added  to,  in  the 
following  century  by  an  anonymous  monk  of  the  abbey  of  Feury.] 

Paul,  son  of  a  Welsh  prince,  was  a  disciple  of  S.  Iltut, 
along  with  S.  Samson  and  Gildas.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  he 
left  his  master,  and  retired  across  the  sea  into  a  solitary 
place  among  his  heathery  moors,  where  he  erected  an 
oratory  and  a  cell.  In  course  of  time,  other  young  men, 
seeking  like  himself  a  better  country  than  earth,  congre- 
gated about  him,  and  he  became  their  superior.  He  re- 
ceived priest's  orders  along  with  twelve  of  his  companions. 
Near  his  congregation  lived  a  prince  named  Mark,  who 
invited  him  to  come  into  his  territory,  and  instruct  his 
people  in  the  Word  of  God.  He  accordingly  went  with 
his  twelve  priests  as  desired,  and  was  well  received  by  the 
king.  After  he  had  spent  some  time  in  that  country,  he 
felt  a  desire  to  go  into  solitude  once  more.  Therefore 
he  went  before  the  king  and  asked  him  to  let  him  depart, 
and  to  give  him  a  bell ;  "  For  at  that  time,"  says  the 
chronicler,  "  it  was  customary  for  kings  to  have  seven  bells 
rung  before  they  sat  down  to  meat."  Mark,  however, 
refused  to  give  him  the  bell,  being  vexed  that  Paul  should 
leave  him.  So  the  holy  man  went  his  way  without  it.  And 
before  he  took  boat  to  depart,  he  visited  his  sister,  who 
lived  in  solitude  with  some  other  holy  women  on  the  shore 
of  Penzance  Bay.  And  when  all  was  ready  for  his  de- 
parture, and  the  boat  was  on  the  shore,  he  said,  "  Sister, 
I  must  depart."  Then  she  wept,  and  entreated  him  to 
tarry  four  days.  And  as  he  saw  her  tears,  he  consented  to 
remain  three  days.     Then,  when  he  was  about  to  depart, 

4f- * 

* — * 

224  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ia. 

she  said,  "  I  know,  my  brother,  that  thou  art  powerful  with 
God.  Therefore  I  pray  thee  grant  me  my  request."  And 
he  said,  "Say  on."  Then  she  said,  "This  land  is  being 
encroached  on  by  the  sea.  Pray  to  the  Lord  that  the 
waves  may  be  restrained  as  by  a  bridle." 

"  Ah,  my  sister !  "  exclaimed  the  holy  man,  "  thou  hast 
asked  what  is  beyond  my  strength.  But  let  us  together 
beseech  the  Lord  to  be  gracious,  and  grant  thee  thy  desire." 
So  they  both  kneeled  down  and  prayed.  Then  the  sea 
began  to  retreat,  and  leave  smooth  yellow  sands,  where  all 
had  been  blue  water  before.  So  the  nuns  hasted  and  ran 
and  told  the  brother  and  sister,  and  they  rose,  and  went 
down  to  the  sea,  and  stepped  on  the  newly  recovered  land. 
And  now  follows  a  part  of  the  legend  which  has  evidently 
sprung  up  among  the  people  with  reference  to  a  reef  of 
rocks  fringing  the  shore.  The  story  goes  on  to  tell  that 
the  sister  gathered  pebbles  and  laid  them  round  the  land 
laid  bare,  and  strewed  them  down  the  road  she  and  her 
brother  had  taken.  And  lo  !  these  peebles  grew  into  a 
ridge  of  rock  called  to  this  day  the  road  of  S.  Paul. 

Then  Paul  stepped  into  his  boat,  followed  by  his  disciples, 
and  they  rowed  to  the  island  of  Ouessant,  and  the  port 
where  they  disembarked  was  called  Portus-boum,  and  at  the 
present  day  is  Paimbceuf.  Then  Paul  tarried  there  many 
years  till  God  called  him  to  work  again.  And  he  took 
boat  and  went  ashore  and  travelled  through  Brittany,  till 
he  came  to  Count  Withur,  a  good  man  and  lord  of  the 
country  under  king  Childebert.  And  Paul  settled  in  the 
island  of  Batz,  which  was  off  the  coast,  near  the  small  town 
encompassed  with  mud  walls,  which  has  since  gone 
by  his  name.  And  there  he  found  wild  bees  in  a  hollow 
tree,  and  they  were  swarming,  so  he  gathered  the  swarm 
and  set  them  in  a  hive,  and  taught  the  people  how  to  get 
honey.      He  also  found  a  wild  sow  with   its   litter,  and 


* * 

March  i2.]  S.  Paul  of  Leon.  225 

patted  her  gently,  and  she  became  tame.  Her  descendants 
remained  at  Leon  for  many  generations,  and  were  regarded 
as  royal  beasts.  Probably  this  legend  points  to  S.  Paul 
having  taught  the  people  to  keep  pigs. 

One  day  Paul  was  with  the  count  Withur,  when  a 
fisherman  brought  the  count  a  bell  he  had  picked  up  on  the 
shore ;  Withur  gave  it  to  S.  Paul,  who  smiled  and  said  that 
though  king  Mark  had  refused  him  a  bell,  yet  now  God  had 
sent  him  one,  after  many  years  of  waiting  and  wishing  for  it 

"  That  bell,"  says  the  historian,  "  has  received  from  the 
people  a  special  name,  on  account  of  its  colour  and  shape, 
for  it  is  green  and  oblong."  S.  Paul  erected  a  church  at 
Leon,  and  was  appointed  its  first  bishop.  Withur  could 
only  obtain  his  consecration  by  having  recourse  to  an 
artifice,  for  he  knew  that  Paul  could  not  be  persuaded  to 
accept  the  dignity.  He  gave  him  a  letter  to  king  Childe- 
bert, and  entreated  him  to  take  it  in  person  to  the  king,  as 
it  contained  matter  of  urgent  importance.  Paul,  full  of 
simplicity,  and  eager  to  oblige  his  friend,  hasted  to  court 
And  when  the  king  broke  the  seal  and  opened  the  letter,  he 
read  that  Withur  had  sent  Paul  to  be  ordained  bishop,  and 
invested  with  the  see  of  Leon.  Then  Childebert  caught  a 
staff  from  a  prelate  who  stood  by  him,  and  said,  "  Receive 
the  pastoral  dignity,  to  discharge  thy  office  for  the  good  of 
many  souls,"  and  he  called  three  bishops  to  him  to  ordain 
Paul.  Then  the  holy  man  wept,  and  implored  the  king  to 
desist  but  Childebert  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  his  entreaties, 
and  had  him  consecrated,  and  then  sent  him  back  to  Le'on, 
where  he  was  received  with  the  liveliest  demonstrations  of 
joy.  He  built  a  monastery  on  the  isle  of  Batz,  and  filled  it 
with  monks,  and  thither  he  retired  whenever  he  could 
escape  from  the  business  of  his  see.  He  lived  to  a  very 
advanced  age,  and  laying  aside  his  episcopal  government, 
ordained  three  of  his  disciples  in  succession  to  it,  and 

vol.  hi.                                                                     15 

226  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  12. 

survived  two  of  them.  His  body  reposed  in  his  cathedral 
church,  but  his  relics  were  dispersed  by  the  Huguenots  in 
the  religious  wars  of  the  16th  century. 

In  art  he  is  represented  either  (1)  with  a  bell,  or  (2)  with 
a  cruse  of  water  and  a  loaf  of  bread,  as  he  lived  on  nothing 
else,  or  (3)  driving  a  dragon  into  the  sea,  to  signify  that  he 
expelled  the  Druidical  superstition  out  of  Brittany. 


(a.d.  604.) 

[Roman  and  all  other  Western  Martyrologies  ;  by  the  Greeks  on  March 
nth.  Authorities  : — A  life  by  Paulus  Diaconus,  another  by  Joannes 
Diaconus,  9th  cent. ,  the  writings  of  S.  Gregory,  &c  The  following  is  in 
part  condensed  from  the  elegant  life  of  S.  Gregory  by  the  Count  de 
Montalembert,  in  his  Monks  of  the  West.] 

S.  Gregory  the  Great  will  be  an  everlasting  honour  to 
the  Benedictine  Order  and  to  the  Papacy.  By  his  genius, 
but  especially  by  the  charm  and  ascendancy  of  his  virtue, 
he  was  destined  to  organise  the  temporal  power  of  the 
popes,  to  develop  and  regulate  their  spiritual  sovereignty, 
to  found  their  paternal  supremacy  over  the  new-born  crowns 
and  races  which  were  to  become  the  great  nations  of  the 
future,  and  to  be  called  France,  Spain,  and  England.  It 
was  he  indeed,  who  inaugurated  the  middle  ages,  modern 
society,  and  Christian  civilisation. 

Issued  from  one  of  the  most  illustrious  races  of  ancient 
Rome,  the  son  of  a  rich  senator,  and  descendant  of  Pope 
Felix  III.,  of  the  Anician  family,  Gregory  was  early  called  to 
fill  a  dignified  place,  which,  in  the  midst  of  the  Rome  of  that 
day,  the  vassal  of  Byzantium,  and  subject  to  the  ceaseless  in- 

*- .j, 

S.  GREGORY   THE  GREAT.      After  Cahier. 

March,  p.  226.] 

[March  12. 

March  n.]  S.   Gregory  the  Great.  227 

suits  of  the  Barbarians,  retained  some  shadow  of  ancient 
Roman  grandeur.  He  was  praetor  of  Rome  during  the  first 
invasion  of  the  Lombards.  In  the  exercise  of  this  office  he 
gained  the  hearts  of  the  Romans,  while  habituating  himself 
to  the  management  of  public  business,  and  while  acquiring  a 
taste  for  luxury  and  display  of  earthly  grandeur,  in  which  he 
still  believed  he  might  serve  God  without  reproach.  But 
God  required  him  elsewhere.  Gregory  hesitated  long, 
inspired  by  the  divine  breath  to  seek  religion,  but  was  re- 
tained, led  back  and  fascinated  to  the  world,  by  the  attrac- 
tions and  habits  of  secular  life.  At  last  he  yielded  to  the 
influence  of  his  intimate  and  close  relations  with  the 
disciples  of  S.  Benedict  in  Monte  Cassino,  and  obeying 
the  grace  that  enlightened  him,  he  abruptly  broke 
every  tie,  devoted  his  wealth  to  the  endowment  of 
six  new  monasteries  in  Sicily,  and  established  in  his 
own  palace  in  Rome,  upon  the  Ccelian  hill,  a  seventh, 
dedicated  to  S.  Andrew,  into  which  he  introduced  the 
Benedictine  rule,  and  where  he  himself  became  a  monk. 
He  sold  all  that  remained  of  his  patrimony,  to  distribute 
it  to  the  poor ;  and  Rome,  which  had  seen  the  young  and 
wealthy  patrician  traverse  its  streets  in  robes  of  silk  covered 
with  jewels,  saw  him  now,  in  575,  with  admiration,  clothed 
like  a  beggar,  serving,  in  his  own  person  the  beggars  lodged 
in  the  hospital  which  he  had  built  at  the  gate  of  his  paternal 
house,  now  changed  into  a  monastery. 

Once  a  monk,  he  would  be  nothing  less  than  a  model  of 
monks,  and  practised  with  the  utmost  rigour  all  the  austeri- 
ties sanctioned  by  the  rule,  applying  himself  specially  at  the 
same  time  to  the  study  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.  He  ate 
only  pulse,  which  his  mother,  who  had  become  a  nun  since 
her  widowhood,  sent  him,  already  soaked,  in  a  silver 
porringer.  This  porringer  was  the  only  remnant  of  his 
ancient  splendour,  and  did  not  long  remain  in  his  hands, 

# ■ * 

* * 

228  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  n. 

for  one  day  a  shipwrecked  sailor  came  several  times  to  beg 
from  him  while  he  was  writing  in  his  cell,  and  finding  no 
money  in  his  purse,  the  Saint  gave  him  that  relic  of  his 
former  wealth. 

Continually  engaged  in  prayer,  reading,  writing,  or  dic- 
tation, he  persisted  in  pushing  the  severity  of  his  fasts 
to  such  an  extent,  that  his  health  succumbed.  He  fell  so 
often  into  fainting  fits,  that  more  than  once  he  would  have 
sunk  under  them  had  not  his  brethren  supported  him  with 
more  substantial  food.  In  consequence  of  having  attempted 
to  do  more  than  others,  he  was  soon  obliged  to  relinquish 
the  most  ordinary  fasts,  which  everybody  observed.  He 
was  in  despair  at  not  being  able  to  fast  even  on  Easter  eve,  a 
day  on  which  even  the  little  children  abstain,  says  his  bio- 
grapher. He  remained  weak  and  sickly  all  his  life,  and  when 
he  left  his  monastery,  it  was  with  health  irreparably  ruined. 

Pope  Benedict  I.  drew  him  first  from  the  cloister  in  577, 
to  raise  him  to  the  dignity  of  one  of  the  seven  cardinal 
deacons,  who  presided  over  the  seven  principal  divisions  oi 
Rome.  Pelagius  II.,  successor  to  Benedict  I.,  chose 
S.  Gregory  to  head  an  embassy  to  Constantinople  to  con- 
gratulate the  Emperor  Tiberius  on  his  accession  in  a.d.  578. 
During  his  stay  at  the  imperial  court,  S.  Gregory  refused  to 
have  any  intercourse  with  the  patriarch  Eutychius,  who  had 
published  an  heretical  treatise  on  the  nature  of  the 
resurrection  body.  On  his  death-bed,  however,  Eutychius 
acknowledged  his  former  errors.  After  six  years  of  this 
honourable  and  laborious  exile,  he  returned  to  Rome,  and 
regained  the  shelter  of  his  monastery  of  S.  Andrea,  the 
monks  of  which  elected  him  abbot  soon  after  his  return. 
He  enjoyed  there  for  some  time  longer  the  delights  of  the 
life  he  had  chosen.  Tenderly  cherished  by  his  brethren,  he 
took  a  paternal  share  in  their  trials  and  spiritual  crosses, 
provided  for  their  temporary  and  spiritual  necessities,  and 



March ».]  S.   Gregory  the  Great.  229 

specially  rejoiced  in  the  holy  deaths  of  several  among  them. 
He  has  related  the  details  of  these  in  his  "  Dialogues,"  and 
seems  to  breathe  in  them  the  perfume  of  heaven. 

The  tender  solicitude  he  bore  to  souls  was  on  the  point 
of  separating  him  from  his  dear  monastery  and  from  Rome. 
Seeing  one  day  exhibited  in  the  market  some  poor  pagan 
children,  of  extraordinary  beauty  and  fairness,  who  were 
said  to  be  of  the  country  of  the  Angles,  "  Not  Angles," 
said  he,  "but  Angels."  Then  hastening  to  the  pope,  he 
begged  him  to  send  missionaries  into  that  great  island  of 
Britain,  where  the  pagans  sold  such  slaves ;  failing  others, 
he  offered  himself  for  this  work,  surprised  the  pontiff  into 
consent,  and  prepared  instantly  for  his  departure.  But 
when  the  Romans  understood  his  intention,  the  love  with 
which  they  had  formerly  regarded  him  was  re-awakened. 
They  surrounded  the  pope  as  he  went  to  S.  Peter's,  and 
intreated  him  to  recall  Gregory.  The  astonished  pope 
yielded  to  the  popular  voice.  He  sent  messengers  after 
Gregory,  who  overtook  him  at  three  days'  journey  from 
Rome;  and  led  him  back  forcibly  to  his  monastery.  It 
was  not  as  a  missionary,  but  as  a  pope,  that  he  was  to  win 
England  to  the  Church. 

In  590,  Pelagius  II.  died  of  the  plague,  which  then 
depopulated  Rome.  Gregory  was  immediately  elected 
pope  by  the  unanimous  voice  of  the  senate,  the  people,  and 
the  clergy.  It  was  in  vain  that  he  refused,  and  appealed  to 
the  emperor  Maurice  not  to  confirm  his  election.  The 
Romans  intercepted  his  letter ;  the  imperial  confirmation 
arrived.  Then  he  disguised  himself,  and  fleeing  from  Rome 
to  seek  some  unknown  retreat,  wandered  three  days  in  the 
woods.  He  was  followed,  discovered,  and  a  second  time  led 
back  to  Rome,  but  this  time  to  reign  there.  He  bowed  his 
head,  weeping,  under  the  yoke  imposed  upon  him  by  the 
Divine  will  and  the  unanimity  of  his  fellow-citizens. 


*—_ . * 

230  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  u. 

It  was  during  the  interval  between  his  election  and  the 
imperial  confirmation  that,  filled  with  a  paternal  anxiety  for 
the  safety  of  the  people,  he  organized  a  great  procession, 
with  solemn  litanies,  to  seek  to  avert  the  wrath  of  Almighty 
God.  It  proceeded  from  seven  stations  in  the  city,  in 
as  many  divisions,  to  the  Church  of  S.  Maria-Maggiore. 
The  first  company  consisted  of  the  secular  clergy,  the  second 
of  the  abbots  and  their  monks,  the  third  of  the  abbesses 
and  their  nuns,  the  fourth  of  children,  the  fifth  of  laymen, 
the  sixth  of  widows,  and  the  seventh  of  matrons  :  each 
band  was  led  by  the  priests  of  the  quarter  of  the  city  from 
which  it  came.  While  the  procession  lasted,  eighty  persons 
in  it  died  of  the  plague ;  yet  S.  Gregory  persevered,  and  the 
prayers  of  the  city  were  heard.  This  was  the  origin  of  the 
"Greater  Litanies,"  which  were  afterwards  held  on  S. 
Mark's  Day,  and  which  acquired  the  popular  name  of 
"  The  Black  Crosses"  from  the  penitential  hue  of  the  vest- 
ments and  banners  used  therein.  While  the  procession 
defiled  before  Gregory,  he  saw  an  angel  appear  upon  the 
summit  of  the  Mole  of  Hadrian,  putting  back  his  sword  into 
its  sheath,  the  image  of  which,  standing  upon  the  colossal 
mausoleum,  has  given  its  name  to  the  castle  of  S.  Angelo, 
and  perpetuated  to  our  day  the  recollection  of  S.  Gregory's 

The  supreme  pontificate,  perhaps,  never  fell  upon  a  soul 
more  disturbed  and  afflicted  than  that  of  this  monk,  who 
saw  himself  thus  condemned  to  exchange  the  peace  of  the 
cloister  for  the  cares  of  the  government  of  the  Church,  and 
the  special  defence  of  the  interests  of  Italy.  Not  only  then, 
but  during  all  his  life,  he  did  not  cease  to  lament  his  fate. 
"  I  have  lost,"  he  wrote  to  the  sister  of  the  emperor,  "  the 
profound  joys  of  repose.  I  seem  to  have  been  elevated  in 
external  things,  but  in  spiritual  I  have  fallen."  To  the 
patrician  Narses :    "  I  am  so  overcome  with  melancholy, 

* $ 

* .* 

March  i2.)  6".   Gregory  tJie  Great.  231 

that  I  can  scarcely  speak.  I  cannot  cease  considering  the 
height  of  tranquillity  from  which  I  have  fallen,  and  the  height 
of  embarrassment  I  have  ascended."  To  his  friend  Leander : 
"  I  am  so  beaten  by  the  waves  of  this  world,  that  I  despair 
of  being  able  to  guide  to  port  this  rotten  old  vessel  with 
which  God  has  charged  me.  I  weep  when  I  recall  the 
peaceful  shore  which  I  have  left,  and  sigh  in  perceiving  afar 
what  I  now  cannot  attain." 

The  poor  monk  who  showed  so  much  despair  when  he 
was  thrown  into  the  political  whirlpool  by  the  unanimous 
voice  of  the  Romans,  could  yet  perceive  with  a  bold  and 
clear  glance  the  dangers  of  the  situation,  and  adopt  a  line  of 
conduct  most  suitable  to  the  emergency  of  the  times.  First 
of  all  he  concerned  himself  with  the  Lombards.  After 
nine  years'  exertion,  in  overcoming  Byzantine  repugnance 
to  acknowledge  any  right  whatever  on  the  side  of  the 
Lombards,  he  concluded  a  peace  between  the  two  powers, 
which  made  Italy,  exhausted  by  thirty  years  of  war  and 
brigandage,  thrill  with  joy.  It  was  of  short  duration ;  but 
when  hostilities  recommenced,  he  entered  into  direct 
negociations  with  king  Agilulf,  and  obtained  from  that 
prince  a  special  truce  for  Rome  and  its  surrounding  terri- 
tory. He  had  besides  found  a  powerful  advocate  with  the 
Lombard  king  in  the  person  of  the  illustrious  queen 
Theodelinda.  This  princess,  a  Bavarian  and  Catholic  by 
birth,  had  gained  the  hearts  of  the  Lombards.  The  queen 
was  always  the  faithful  friend  of  the  pope ;  she  served  as  a 
medium  of  communication  between  him  and  her  husband. 
Gregory,  from  the  very  beginning  of  his  pontificate,  had 
exhorted  the  Italian  bishops  to  make  special  exertions  for 
the  conversion  of  these  formidable  heretics. 

His  constancy  and  courage  were  called  forth  in  contest 
with  the  Greeks,  with  that  Eastern  Empire  which  was 
represented  by  functionaries  whose  odious  exactions   had 

* ~ * 

* * 

232  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March™. 

quite  as  great  a  share  in  the  despair  of  the  people  as  the 
ravages  of  the  Barbarians,  and  whose  malice  was  more 
dreadful  than  the  swords  of  the  Lombards.  His  entire 
life  was  a  struggle  with  the  patriarch  of  Constantinople,  who 
aimed  at  supplanting  the  Roman  pontiff,  as  well  as  with  the 
emperor,  who  would  have  dominated  Italy  without  defend- 
ing her,  and  ruled  the  Church  as  if  she  were  a  department  of 
the  State.  Among  so  many  conflicts,  we  shall  dwell  only  on 
that  one  which  arose  between  him  and  John  the  Faster, 
patriarch  of  Constantinople.  Relying  on  the  support  of 
most  of  the  Eastern  bishops,  this  patriarch  took  to  himself 
the  title  of  Universal  Bishop.  Gregory  stood  up  with  vigour 
against  this  pretension.  He  did  not  draw  back  before  the 
emperor,  who  openly  sided  with  the  patriarch  of  his  capital, 
nor  before  the  patriarchs  of  Antioch  and  Alexandria,  who 
sided  with  the  Bryzantine  patriarch.  "  What  I"  wrote 
Gregory  to  the  emperor,  "  S.  Peter,  who  received  the  keys 
of  heaven  and  earth,  the  power  of  binding  and  loosing,  the 
charge  and  primacy  of  the  whole  Church,  was  never  called 
the  Universal  Apostle ;  and  yet  my  pious  brother  John 
would  name  himself  Universal  Bishop  !"  For  himself  he 
says,  "  I  desire  to  increase  in  virtue  and  not  in  words.  I 
do  not  consider  myself  honoured  in  that  which  dishonours 
my  brethren.  It  is  the  honour  of  the  universal  Church 
that  is  my  honour.  Away  with  these  words  which  inflate 
vanity  and  wound  charity.  The  holy  council  of  Chalcedon 
and  other  fathers  have  offered  this  title  to  my  predecessors, 
but  none  of  them  have  ever  used  it,  that  they  might  guard 
their  own  honour  in  the  sight  of  God,  by  seeking  here  below 
the  honour  of  all  the  priesthood."  This  weighty  difference, 
the  prohibition  addressed  by  the  emperor  to  soldiers 
against  their  becoming  monks,  and  the  contest  which  arose 
between  the  pope  and  the  emperor  touching  the  irregular 
election  to  the  metropolitan  see  of  Salona,  contributed  to 

*— & 

* — $ 

March  12.]  .S*.   Gregory  the  Great.  233 

render  almost  permanent  the  misunderstanding  between 
them.  These  perpetual  contests  with  the  Byzantine  court 
may  explain,  without  excusing,  the  conduct  of  Gregory  at 
the  death  of  the  Emperor  Maurice.  This  prince,  infected, 
like  all  his  predecessors,  with  a  mania  for  interfering  in 
ecclesiastical  affairs,  was  very  superior  to  most  of  them. 
Gregory  himself  has  more  than  once  done  justice  to  his  faith 
and  piety,  to  his  zeal  for  the  Church,  and  respect  for  her 
canons.  After  twenty  years  of  an  undistinguished  reign, 
a  military  revolt  broke  out,  which  placed  Phocas  upon 
the  throne.  This  wretch  not  only  murdered  the  emperor 
Maurice,  gouty,  and  incapable  of  defending  himself,  but 
also  his  six  sons,  whom  he  caused  to  be  put  to  death  under 
the  eyes  of  their  father,  without  even  sparing  the  youngest, 
who  was  still  at  the  breast,  and  whom  his  nurse  would  have 
saved  by  putting  her  own  child  in  his  place  ;  but  Maurice, 
who  was  too  noble  to  allow  of  such  a  sacrifice,  disclosed 
the  pious  deception  to  the  murderers.  He  died  like  a 
Christian  hero,  repeating  the  words  of  the  psalm,  "  Thou, 
O  Lord,  art  just,  and  all  Thy  judgments  are  right"  This 
massacre  did  not  satisfy  Phocas,  who  sacrificed  the  empress 
and  her  three  daughters,  the  brother  of  Maurice,  and  a 
multitude  of  others  in  his  train.  The  monster  then  sent 
his  own  image  and  that  of  his  wife  to  Rome,  where  the 
senate  and  people  received  them  with  rejoicings.  Gregory 
unfortunately  joined  in  these  mean  acclamations.  He 
carried  these  images  of  his  new  masters,  bathed  in  innocent 
blood,  into  the  oratory  of  the  Lateran  palace.  Afterwards, 
he  addressed  extraordinary  congratulations  to  Phocas,  not 
in  the  surprise  of  the  first  moment,  but  seven  months  after 
the  crime.  This  is  the  only  stain  upon  the  life  of  Gregory. 
We  do  not  attempt  either  to  conceal  or  to  excuse  it  It  can 
scarcely  be  explained  by  recalling  all  the  vexations  he  had 
suffered  from  Maurice,  annoyances  of  which  he  always  com- 

ft — * 

* * 

234  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  t«. 

plained  energetically,  though  he  did  not  fail  to  do  justice  to 
the  undeniable  piety  of  the  old  emperor.  Perhaps  Gregory 
adopted  this  means  to  secure  the  help  of  Phocas  against 
the  new  incursions  of  the  Lombards,  or  to  mollify  before- 
hand the  already  threatening  intentions  of  the  tyrant  It 
must  also  be  remembered  that  these  flatteries  were  in  some 
sort  the  official  language  of  these  times ;  they  resulted  from 
the  general  debasement  of  public  manners,  and  from  the 
tone  of  the  language  invariably  used  then  at  each  change 
of  reign.  His  motives  were  undoubtedly  pure.  Notwith- 
standing, a  stain  remains  upon  his  memory,  and  a  shadow 
upon  the  history  of  the  Church,  which  is  so  consoling  and 
full  of  light  in  this  age  of  storm  and  darkness.  But  among 
the  greatest  and  holiest  of  mortals,  virtue,  like  human  wis- 
dom, always  falls  short  in  some  respect 

Long  crushed  between  the  Lombards  and  Byzantines, 
between  the  unsoftened  ferocity  of  the  barbarians  and  the 
vexatious  decrepitude  of  despotism,  Gregory,  with  that  in- 
stinctive perception  of  future  events  which  God  sometimes 
grants  to  pure  souls,  sought  elsewhere  a  support  for  the 
Roman  Church.  His  eyes  were  directed  to  the  new  races, 
who  were  scarcely  less  ferocious  than  the  Lombards,  but 
who  did  not,  like  them,  weigh  upon  Italy  and  Rome,  and 
who  already  exhibited  elements  of  strength  and  continuance. 
It  is  impossible  to  do  more  here  than  touch  on  these  noble 
enterprises.  He  entered  into  correspondence  with  Childe- 
bert,  the  Gallo-Frank  king,  and  with  the  French  bishops,  to 
obtain  the  rectification  of  abuses  and  the  purification  of  the 
Gallican  church  from  simony,  and  the  nomination  of  lay- 
men to  the  episcopal  office,  two  vices  which  consumed  the 
vitals  of  Christianity  in  France.  Spain  had  become  Arian 
under  the  Visigoths,  but  the  Catholic  faith  had  triumphed 
with  the  accession  of  Recared,  in  587.  S.  Leander,  bishop 
of  Seville,  was  the  principal  author  of  the  conversion  of  the 

* .,j, 

* — — * 

March  mo  S.   Gregory  the  Great.  235 

Visigoths.  Gregory  wrote  to  him  and  to  other  bishops  of 
Spain.  They  consulted  him,  and  he  gave  them  his  advice. 
He  wrote,  and  gave  councils  full  of  wisdom  to  the  king 
Recared,  himself.  He  brought  back  to  the  unity  of  the 
Church  the  schismatical  bishops  of  Istria,  and  wholly  sup- 
pressed the  Donatist  schism  in  Africa.  But  one  of  the 
most  striking  points  in  the  life  of  S.  Gregory  is  his  zeal  for 
the  conversion  of  England. 

Amid  the  labours  of  his  exalted  position,  S.  Gregory  never 
remitted  his  anxiety  for  the  evangelization  of  that  distant 
isle.  In  July,  a.d.  596,  he  dispatched  S.  Augustine  (May 
26th),  with  forty  companions,  on  that  mission  to  which  we 
owe  so  much,  that,  with  every  feeling  of  love  and  venera- 
tion for  the  remnant  of  Celtic  Christianity  which  had  then 
escaped  the  sword  of  Pagan  Saxondom,  we  may  yet  say, 
with  the  Venerable  Bede,  "  If  Gregory  be  not  to  others  an 
apostle,  he  is  one  to  us,  for  the  seal  of  his  apostleship  are 
we  in  the  Lord." 

The  services  which  he  rendered  to  the  Liturgy  are  well 
known.  Completing  and  putting  in  order  the  work  of  his 
predecessors,  he  gave  its  definite  form  to  the  holy  sacrifice 
of  the  Mass,  in  that  celebrated  Sacramentary  which  remains 
the  most  august  monument  of  Liturgical  science.  It  may 
be  said  also  that  he  created,  and,  by  anticipation,  saved, 
Christian  art,  by  fixing,  long  before  the  persecution  of  the 
Iconclasts,  the  true  doctrine  respecting  the  veneration  of 
images,  in  that  fine  letter  to  the  bishop  of  Marseilles,  in 
which  he  reproves  him  for  having,  in  the  excess  of  his  zeal 
against  idolatry,  broken  the  statues  of  the  saints,  and  re- 
minds him  that  through  all  antiquity  the  history  of  the 
saints  has  been  pictorically  represented,  and  that  painting  is 
to  the  ignorant  what  letters  are  to  those  who  can  read. 

But  his  name  is  specially  associated,  in  the  history  of 
Catholic  worship,  with  that  branch  of  religious  art  which  is 

£ —X 

236  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

identified  with  worship  itself,  and  which  is  of  the  utmost 
moment  to  the  piety  as  to  the  innocent  joy  of  the  Christian 
people.  The  name  of  Gregorian  Chant  reminds  us  of  his 
solicitude  for  collecting  the  ancient  melodies  of  the  Church, 
in  order  to  subject  them  to  rules  of  harmony,  and  to  arrange 
them  according  to  the  requirements  of  divine  worship.  He 
had  the  glory  of  giving  to  Ecclesiastical  music  that  sweet 
and  solemn  character  which  has  descended  through  ages, 
and  to  which  we  must  always  return  after  the  most  prolonged 
aberrations  of  frivolty  and  innovation.  He  made  out  him- 
self, in  his  Antiphonary,  the  collection  of  ancient  and  new 
chants ;  he  composed  the  text  and  melodies  of  several 
hymns,  which  are  still  used  in  the  Church ;  he  established 
at  Rome  the  celebrated  school  of  sacred  music,  to  which 
Gaul,  Germany,  and  England  came  in  turns,  trying  with  more 
or  less  success  to  assimilate  their  voices  to  the  purity  of 
Italian  modulations.  And  when  Gregory  was  too  ill  to 
leave  his  little  chamber  and  his  couch,  he  gathered  about 
him  the  boys  of  the  choir,  and  continued  their  instructions. 

The  gout  made  the  last  years  of  his  life  a  kind  of  martyr- 
dom. The  cry  of  pain  rings  in  many  of  his  letters.  "  For 
nearly  two  years,"  he  wrote  to  the  patriarch  of  Alexandria, 
"I  have  been  imprisoned  to  my  bed  by  such  pangs  of  gout, 
that  I  can  scarcely  rise  for  two  or  three  hours  on  great 
holidays  to  celebrate  solemn  mass.  And  the  intensity  of 
the  pain  compels  me  immediately  to  lie  down  again,  that  I 
may  be  able  to  endure  my  torture,  by  giving  free  course  to 
my  groans.  My  illness  will  neither  leave  me  nor  kill  me.  I 
entreat  your  holiness  to  pray  for  me,  that  I  may  be  soon 
delivered,  and  receive  that  freedom  which  you  know,  and 
which  is  the  glory  of  the  children  of  God." 

Up  to  his  last  moments  he  continued  with  unwearied 
activity  to  dictate  his  correspondence,  and  to  concern  him- 
self with  the  interests  of  the  Church.     He  died  on  the  12th 



March  i ».]  S.   Gregory  the  Great.  237 

March,  604,  aged  nearly  fifty-five,  in  the  thirteenth  year  of 
his  pontificate.  He  was  buried  in  S.  Peter's ;  and  in  the 
epitaph  engraved  on  his  tomb,  it  is  said  that,  "  after  having 
conformed  all  his  actions  to  his  doctrine,  the  consul  of  God 
went  to  enjoy  eternal  triumph." 

S.  Hildefonsus,  Archbishop  of  Toledo,  in  the  seventh 
century,  writes  thus  of  him — "  He  surpassed  Antony  in 
holiness,  Cyprian  in  eloquence,  and  Augustine  in  wisdom." 
Yet  so  great  was  his  humility,  that  he  subscribed  himself, 
"  Servant  of  the  servants  of  God  " — a  style  which  his  suc- 
cessors in  the  chair  of  S.  Peter  have  retained  till  this  day. 
He  was  buried  in  the  basilica  of  S.  Peter.  His  pallium, 
reliquary,  and  girdle  were  preserved  as  precious  memorials. 

He  had,  like  so  many  other  great  hearts,  to  struggle  with 
ingratitude,  not  only  during  his  life,  but  after  his  death. 
Rome  was  afflicted  with  a  great  famine  under  his  successor, 
Sabinian,  who  put  an  end  to  the  charities  which  Gregory 
had  granted  to  the  poor,  on  the  plea  that  there  was  nothing 
remaining  in  the  treasury  of  the  Church.  The  enemies  of 
the  deceased  pope  then  excited  the  people  against  him, 
calling  him  prodigal  and  a  waster  of  the  Roman  patrimony ; 
and  that  ungrateful  people,  whom  he  had  loved  and  helped 
so  much,  began  to  burn  his  writings,  as  if  to  annihilate  or 
dishonour  his  memory.  But  one  of  the  monks,  who  had 
followed  him  from  the  monastery  to  the  palace,  his  friend 
the  deacon  Peter,  interposed.  He  represented  to  the  incen- 
diaries that  these  writings  were  already  spread  through  the 
entire  world,  and  that  it  was,  besides,  sacrilege  to  burn  the 
work  of  a  holy  doctor,  upon  whom  he  swore  he  had  himself 
seen  the  heavenly  dove  fluttering.  And  as  if  to  confirm  his 
oath,  after  having  ended  his  address,  he  breathed  forth  his 
last  sigh,  a  valiant  witness  of  truth  and  friendship,  and  is 
commemorated  by  the  Church  on  the  same  day  with  S. 

* * 

238  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  m. 

In  the  year  826,  the  body  of  this  holy  pontiff  was  brought 
into  France,  and  placed  in  the  celebiated  monastery  of  S. 
Medard,  in  Soissons.  The  head  was  given  to  archbishop 
Agesil,  and  deposited  in  the  abbey  of  S.  Pierre-le-Vif,  at 
Sens,  and  a  bone  was  given  to  Rome  at  the  request  of  pope 
Urban  VIII.,  in  1628. 

In  art,  S.  Gregory  is  represented  as  a  pope,  with  a  dove 
hovering  over  him,  or  at  his  ear,  and  with  music  in  his  hand :  a 
frequent  subject  with  Mediaeval  sculptors  and  painters  was 
his  Mass.  According  to  the  legend,  as  he  was  about  to 
communicate  a  woman,  and  said,  "  The  Body  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ  preserve  thy  body  and  soul  unto  Eternal  Life," 
he  saw  her  smile,  wherefore  he  refused  to  give  her  the  host, 
and  questioning  her,  found  that  she  doubted  how  what  her 
senses  told  her  was  bread  could  be  the  flesh  of  Christ.  Then 
S.  Gregory  prayed  that  her  eyes  might  be  opened,  and  in- 
stantly the  Host  was  visibly  changed  into  Christ  enduring 
His  passion. 

S.  MURAN,  AB. 

(7TH   CENT.) 
[Irish  Martyrologies.      Authority : — Colgan.] 

S.  Muran  was  the  son  of  Feradach,  of  the  noble  race  of 
the  O'Neills,  and  was  abbot  of  Fathinis,  in  the  peninsula  of 
Inis-coguin,  five  miles  from  Deny,  in  the  north  of  Ulster. 
He  was  famous  for  his  sanctity ;  and  was  greatly  honoured 
of  old  in  that  part  of  Ireland,  where  the  church  of  Fathinis 
was  dedicated  in  his  name ;  but  the  particulars  of  his  life 
have  not  been  handed  down. 

* -# 


March,  p.  238.] 

[March  12. 

* — * 

March  „.]  S.  Fina.  239 

S.  FINA,  V. 
(a.d.  1253.) 

[Venerated  in  Tuscany,  especially  at  S.  Geminiani.     Authority  : — A  Life 
written  by  the  famous  preacher,  John  de  S.  Geminiani  (1310).] 

S.  Fina  was  the  daughter  of  very  poor  parents  at  S. 
Geminiani,  in  Tuscany.  Her  name  was  probably  Seraphina, 
but  it  is  only  known  by  its  diminutive  of  endearment,  Fina. 
The  young  girl  was  singularly  beautiful,  and  at  the  same 
time  exceedingly  bashful,  ever  walking  abroad  with  her  soft 
dark  eyes  modestly  lowered.  Whilst  yet  young  she  was 
suddenly  paralysed  through  her  whole  body,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  her  head.  For  six  years  she  lay  on  one  side  upon  a 
hard  board,  and  would  not  suffer  her  mother  or  the  neigh- 
bours to  make  her  a  soft  bed,  desiring  rather  to  be  like  our 
Blessed  Lord,  stretched  on  His  Cross.  The  father  seems 
to  have  been  dead,  and  the  poor  mother  begged  for  subsis- 
tence for  herself  and  daughter.  The  girl's  skin  broke,  and 
formed  terrible  sores,  but  she  bore  all  her  sufferings  with 
sweetness.  When  left  alone,  the  mice  and  rats,  which 
infested  the  miserable  hut,  would  often  come  and  attack 
her,  and  horribly  mangle  her  sores,  and  the  poor  child  being 
paralysed  in  all  her  members  was  unable  to  protect  herself 
from  them.  Yet  not  a  murmur  escaped  her  lips,  nor  did  a 
cloud  darken  the  serenity  of  her  temper.  She  was  always 
gentle,  loving,  and  considerate  of  others. 

A  new  misfortune  now  befel  her.  Her  mother  died  sud- 
denly whilst  crossing  the  threshold,  on  her  return  from  beg 
ging,  and  Fina  was  left  wholly  unprovided  for.  She  was  thus 
left  perfectly  helpless,  to  the  mercy  of  poor  neighbours.  But 
their  desultory  attention  was  not  like  that  of  a  mother,  and  it 
soon  became  evident  that  she  would  die  through  partial  neg- 
lect. In  the  midst  of  her  sufferings  she  had  been  comforted 
by  being  told  of  S.  Gregory  the  Great  and  his  cruel  pains,  and 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  xa. 

the  young  girl  had  formed  a  strong  attachment  and  devotion 
to  him.  One  night,  as  she  lay  alone,  uncared  for  in  her 
hut,  the  great  pontiff  and  doctor  of  the  Church  shone  out  of 
the  darkness  by  the  side  of  the  pauper  cripple,  and  bade 
her  be  of  good  cheer.  "  Dear  child,  on  my  festival  Christ 
will  give  thee  rest."  And  it  was  so.  On  the  feast  of  S. 
Gregory  she  died.  When  the  neighbours  lifted  the  poor 
little  body  from  the  board  on  which  it  had  lain,  lo !  that 
board  was  covered  with  white  violets  exhaling  a  delicious 
perfume,  and  to  this  day,  at  S.  Geminiani,  the  peasants  call 
these  flowers  which  bloom  about  the  day  of  her  death,  S. 
Fina's  flowers. 

Symbolic  carving  at  the  Abbey  of  S.   Denis. 




March i3]  .S".  Euphrasia.  241 

March  13. 

S.  Euphrasia,  V.  in  Egypt,  after  a.d.  410. 

S.  Mochoemog,  Ab.  of  Liathmor,  in  Ireland,  middle  ofyth  cent. 

S.  Gerald,  Ab.  and  B.  of  Mayo,  in  Ireland,  circ.  a.d.  700. 

S.  Nicephorus,  Pair,  of  Constantinople,  a.d.  828. 

S.  Ansewin,  B.  ofCtimcrino,  in  Italy,  circ.  a.d.  840. 

SS.  Ruderick,  P.M.,  and  Salomon,  M.  at  Cordova,  A.D.  8s7. 

S.  Eldrad,  Ab.  of  Novalese,  in  Italy,  A.D.  875. 

S.  Kennocha,  V.  in  Scotland,  circ.  a.d.  1007. 

B.  Eric  or  Henrick,  C.  at  Perugia,  a.d.  1415- 


(AFTER    A.D.    410.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  on  the  authority  of  Usuardus.  By  the  Greeks  on 
July  25th.  Authority  : — An  ancient  Greek  life,  published  by  Bollandus, 
quoted  by  S.  John  Damascene  (730).  There  are  other,  more  modern, 
versions  of  the  ancient  life.] 

|jN  the  reign  of  Theodosius  the  First,  Antigonus, 

governor  of  Lycia,  and  his  wife,  Euphrasia,  were 

blessed  by  God  with  a  little  daughter,  who  was 

named  after  her  mother.       Antigonus  and  his 

wife  feared  God,  and  served  Him  with  all  their  hearts,  and 

with  one  consent  resolved  to  bring  up  their  little  child  as  a 

bride  of  Christ.     Shortly  after  Antigonus  had  formed  this 

resolution  he  was  called  out  of  the  world.     When  the  child 

was  five  years  old,  the  emperor,  who  had  taken  the  little  girl 

under  his  protection,  proposed  to  the  mother  that  she  should 

be  given  in  marriage  to  the  son  of  a  wealthy  senator,  in 

accordance  with  the  custom  of  the  times,  to  betroth  maidens 

of  high  rank  from  infancy.       The  mother  consented,  and 

received  the  betrothal  presents  from  the  parents  of  the  boy, 

and  the  marriage  was  arranged  to  take  place  as  soon  as  the 

maiden  was  of  a  sufficient  age.     But  in  the  meantime,  some 

vol.  in.                                                                     16 
4, — * 



242  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  r* 

changes  in  the  imperial  household  having  thrown  Euphrasia, 
the  mother,  out  of  favour,  she  retired  into  Egypt  with  her 
daughter,  under  pretext  of  visiting  her  relatives,  and  whilst 
there  she  travelled  into  Upper  Egypt,  and  saw  with  admira- 
tion and  respect  the  holy  lives  of  the  solitaries  who  inhabited 
the  deserts  of  the  Thebaid. 

In  the  Thebaid  was  a  convent  of  a  hundred  holy  women, 
and  the  widow  found  great  delight  and  exceeding  profit  in 
visiting  it  frequently,1  taking  with  her  each  time  her  little 
child,  who  was  then  aged  seven.  The  mother  superior  was 
warmly  attached  to  the  beautiful  girl,  and  one  day  drawing 
the  child  towards  her,  before  her  mother,  asked  Euphrasia 
if  she  loved  her.  "  That  do  I,"  answered  the  child,  looking 
up  into  her  face.  "  Well,  will  you  come  and  live  with  us, 
then  ?"  enquired  the  superior,  playfully.  "  I  would,"  re- 
plied Euphrasia,  "if  I  did  not  think  it  would  trouble  my 
mother."  "  And  now,  my  pet,"  said  the  superior,  "  which 
do  you  love  best,  your  little  husband  or  us  sisters."  "  I 
have  never  seen  my  little  husband,  nor  has  my  little  husband 
ever  seen  me,  so  we  cannot  love  each  other  much,"  answered 
the  child ;  "  but  I  do  love  you  sisters  very  much,  because  I 
know  you.  Which  do  you  love  best,  my  little  husband  or 
me?"  "  Oh,"  said  the  nun,  "  I  love  you  much  the  best ; 
but  I  love  Jesus  Christ  above  all."  "So  do  I,"  said  the 
child,  "  I  love  you  very  much,  but  I  love  Jesus  Christ 

The  mother,  Euphrasia,  looked  on  smiling,  and  with  tears 
in  her  eyes,  as  this  simple  conversation,  which  has  been 
blown  down  to  us  through  more  than  fifteen  centuries, 
passed  between  the  old  nun  and  the  child.  Then  she  took 
her  child's  hand  to  lead  her  away.  But  the  young  Euphrasia 
implored  her  mother  to  let  her  remain,  and  she,  supposing 

1  She  gave  the  sisters,  we  are  told,  candles  and  incense  for  their  altar,  and  oil  for 
their  oratory  lamp,  but  gold  they  would  not  receive. 



* 9 

March  i3.]  S.  Euphrasia.  243 

this  was  a  mere  infantine  caprice,  consented,  thinking  that 
she  would  soon  weary  of  the  cloister  life.  But  it  was  not 
so.  The  child  clung  to  the  sisters,  in  spite  of  every  hard- 
ship and  trial  inflicted  on  her  to  persuade  her  to  go.  She 
was  told  she  must  fast,  and  learn  the  Psalter  by  heart,  if  she 
remained,  and  sleep  on  the  hard  ground.  She  was  ready 
for  all,  rather  than  depart.  Then  the  superior  said  to  the 
mother,  "  Leave  the  little  girl  with  us,  for  the  grace  of  God 
is  working  in  her  heart.  Your  piety  and  that  of  Antigonus 
have  opened  to  her  the  most  perfect  way."  Then  Euphrasia, 
the  mother,  took  her  child  in  her  arms,  and  going  before  an 
image  of  our  Blessed  Lord,  she  held  up  the  little  girl,  and 
said,  weeping,  "  My  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  receive  this  child 
into  Thy  protection,  since  she  desires  Thee  only,  and  devotes 
herself  to  Thy  service  alone."  And  she  blessed  her  daughter, 
saying,  "  May  the  Lord,  who  made  the  mountains  so  strong 
that  they  cannot  be  moved,  confirm  thee  in  His  holy  fear." 
But  when  the  parting  came,  she  burst  into  a  flood  of  tears, 
and  the  whole  community  wept  with  her.  A  few  days  after, 
the  superior  brought  the  young  Euphrasia  into  the  chapel, 
and  vested  her  in  the  religious  habit,  and  kneeling  down  by 
the  tiny  novice,  she  prayed,  "  O  King  of  ages,  finish  in  this 
child  the  work  of  sanctification  that  Thou  hast  begun.  Give 
her  grace  to  follow  in  all  things  Thy  holy  will,  and  to  place 
in  Thee  her  hope  and  confidence." 

When  her  mother  saw  her  in  her  austere  habit,  she  asked 
her  if  she  were  content.  "  Oh,  mother !"  cried  the  child, 
"  It  is  my  marriage  garment,  given  me  on  my  espousals  to 
Jesus."  "  May  He,  sweet  child,  make  thee  worthy  of  His 
love,"  said  the  mother. 

Years  passed  away,  and  the  little  flower  grew  up  and 
bloomed  in  the  cool  shade  of  the  cloister,  and  her  mother 
had  rejoined  Antigonus  in  bliss,  when  the  emperor  wrote  to 
Euphrasia  to  order  her  instantly  to  return  to  Constantinople 

* * 

244  Lives  of  the  Saints.  (March «. 

and  marry  the  young  man  to  whom  he  had  betrothed  her. 
She  was  of  imperial  blood,  and  Theodosius  considered  that, 
on  the  death  of  her  mother,  the  charge  of  Euphrasia,  who 
was  now  an  heiress  and  very  wealthy,  devolved  on  him. 
She  replied,  imploring  him  to  allow  her  to  follow  her  voca- 
tion, and  requested  him  to  dispose  of  all  her  property  for 
the  benefit  of  the  poor.  Euphrasia  was  then  aged  twelve. 
Theodosius,  satisfied  that  she  was  in  earnest,  obeyed  her 
request,  and  troubled  her  no  more  about  the  marriage.  But 
now  arrived  a  critical  time  of  life,  when  youthful  spirits  and 
passions  were  in  effervesence,  and  she  was  cruelly  tormented 
with  vain  imaginations  and  temptations  to  go  forth  into  that 
wondrous  world  of  which  she  knew  so  little,  but  which, 
clothed  in  the  rainbow  tints  of  infantine  remembrance, 
allured  her  fancy.  To  divert  her  attention,  and  at  the  same 
time  to  prove  her  obedience,  the  superior  one  day  pointed 
to  a  great  heap  of  stones,  and  bade  her  carry  them  to  the 
top  of  a  little  sand  hill,  some  distance  off.  Euphrasia 
obeyed  cheerfully,  toiling  at  removing  the  stones  under  the 
hot  sun,  one  by  one,  to  the  place  indicated.  Then  she 
came  joyously  to  the  superior,  and  signified  to  her  that  the 
task  was  accomplished.  "  Bring  them  all  back  again,"  said 
the  mother  superior.  And  the  young  nun  hasted  to  obey. 
Next  day  she  presented  herself  before  the  superior  once 
more.  "I  have  changed  my  mind,"  said  the  mother; 
"  take  the  stones  back  again  to  the  top  of  the  mound." 
And  thirty  times  did  she  make  Euphrasia  carry  them  back ; 
and  each  time  was  she  obeyed  with  cheerfulness. 

She  was  then  sent  into  the  kitchen,  and  made  to  chop  up 
the  wood  for  the  fire,  bake  the  bread,  and  cook  the  food. 
The  sister  who  undertook  this  arduous  task  was  usually 
exempt  from  attending  the  midnight  offices,  but  Euphrasia 
never  missed  being  present  in  choir  with  the  others,  and 
when  she  was  twenty,  she  was  taller  and  plumper  than  any 

* & 

March  i3.j  S.  Mochoemog.  245 

of  the  other  sisters,  her  face  had  lost  none  of  its  beauty  and 
freshness,  but  beamed  with  amiability.  She  had  her  trials, 
being  for  some  time  vexed  with  the  contradiction  of  one  of 
the  sisters,  who  took  a  spite  against  her,  being  filled  with 
jealousy  of  her  virtues,  and  she  once  seriously  injured  her 
foot  with  the  axe  when  chopping  up  wood.  But  God 
favoured  her,  and  gave  her  the  power  of  working  miracles, 
and  she  cast  evil  spirits  out  of  many  that  were  possessed, 
and  healed  many  that  were  sick.  And  when  she  was  about 
to  die,  Julia,  a  favourite  sister,  who  inhabited  the  same  cell, 
implored  Euphrasia  to  obtain  for  her  the  grace  to  be  her 
companion  in  heaven,  as  she  had  been  her  associate  on 
earth.  Then,  when  Euphrasia  was  dead,  sister  Julia  cast 
herself  on  her  tomb,  and  wept  and  prayed,  and  the  third 
day  she  was  called  away  to  be  with  her  friend  in  the 
heavenly  kingdom.  Now,  when  the  aged  superior  saw  this, 
she  longed  greatly  to  enter  also  into  her  rest ;  it  was  she 
who  had  admitted  Euphrasia,  and  it  grieved  her  sore  to  be 
left  in  the  desert  when  her  spiritual  daughter  had  entered 
the  Promised  Land.  So  she  prayed  also,  and  when  the 
nuns  looked  into  her  cell  in  the  morning,  she  had  joined 
Euphrasia  and  Julia. 


(MIDDLE   OF    7TH   CENT.) 

[Irish  Martyrologies,  also  the  German  Martyrology  of  Canisius.  Autho- 
rity : — A  life  purporting  to  be  written  by  a  disciple,  but  this  is  certainly 
false.  It  can  not  have  been  written  before  the  12th  century.  I  give  the 
btory,  and  the  reader  may  believe  as  much  as  he  likes  of  the  wonderful 

The  abbot  Mochoemog  was  born  in  Connaught.  His 
father,  on  account  of  a  feud,  came  into  Munster  and  settled 
on  the  lands  of  O'Connell-Ghabhra.  The  father,  Beoan  by 
name,  loved  a  certain  beautiful  damsel,  called  Nessa,  of  the 

* — — — — * 

£, * 

246  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ij. 

race  of  the  Nan-desi,1  the  sister  of  S.  Ytha,  and  having 
wedded  her,  he  went  with  his  wife  to  S.  Ytha,  aud  built  her 
a  beautiful  convent,  for  Beoan  was  a  skilful  architect.  Then 
S.  Ytha  said  to  him,  "What  recompense  shall  I  give  thee?" 
Then  he  said,  "  Thou  knowest  that  I  have  no  heir ;  beseech 
the  Lord  that  He  may  grant  me  one."  And  Ytha  answered, 
"  A  son  shalt  thou  have,  elect  before  God  and  men." 

Now  there  was  a  certain  king,  named  Crunmhoel,  who 
made  war  on  the  O'Connells,  and  a  great  battle  was  fought, 
and  Beoan  was  in  the  battle,  and  he  fell.  Then  his  wife 
went  over  the  field  seeking  him,  and  she  found  his  head, 
and  knew  it  again,  and  she  took  it  and  carried  it  to  S.  Ytha, 
and  said,  "  Where  is  thy  promise,  sister,  that  he  should  have 
an  heir  ?"  Then  the  holy  abbess  said,  "  Weep  not,  my 
sister,  but  put  his  head  on  to  his  body  again."  "  How  can 
I  know  his  body  in  the  midst  of  so  many  headless  corpses  ?" 
asked  Nessa.  "  Be  not  discouraged,"  answered  the  holy 
abbess,  "Go  into  the  field,  and  call  Beoan  thrice  in  the 
name  of  the  Holy  Trinity,  and  he  will  come  after  his  head, 
then  put  it  on  again."  So  Nessa  did  so.  And  when  she 
had  called  the  third  time,  a  dead  man  got  up  out  of  his 
place,  and  he  had  lost  his  head,  but  he  seemed  to  be  look- 
ing about  for  it  with  his  stump.  So  he  came  to  Nessa,  and 
she  put  his  head  on,  and  then  he  opened  his  mouth,  and 
said,  "  Oh,  woman  !  why  didst  thou  call  me?"  And  he  was 
sound  again.  Therefore  he  and  his  wife  came  to  S.  Ytha, 
who  asked  him,  "  Friend,  desirest  thou  to  tarry  longer  here 
below,  or  to  go  direct  to  heaven  ?"  Beoan  answered,  "  I 
esteem  this  world  as  nothing  compared  to  eternal  glory." 
"  That  is  well,"  answered  Ytha ;  "  However,  my  promise 
must  be  kept  Thou  must  go  home  with  thy  wife."  Then 
she  washed  his  head  and  neck,  and  not  even  a  scar  re- 
mained.      And  after  that  Nessa  became  pregnant.       Now 

1  Decies,  county  Waterford. 
* -* 

* * 

March  u.]  S.  Mochoemog.  247 

there  was  in  the  east  of  Ireland,  at  Momyfechta,  a  blind 
abbot,  named  Fechean,1  and  he  prayed  that  he  might  recover 
his  sight.  Then  an  angel  appeared  to  him,  and  bade  him 
go  and  wash  his  eyes  in  the  milk  from  the  breast  of  the  wife 
of  Beoan.  But  S.  Fechean  knew  not  where  Beoan  lived, 
and  had  never  heard  his  name  before.  Then  he  went  to  S. 
Ytha,  to  ask  her  to  direct  him,  and  she  told  him  whither  he 
was  to  go.  And  Fechean  hasted,  guided  by  his  disciples, 
and  they  came  to  a  mill,  and  there  he  found  Beoan  and  his 
wife.  Then  Fechean  related  in  order  his  vision,  and  the 
journey  he  had  undertaken,  and  when  he  had  made  his  peti- 
tion, Nessa  gave  him  some  of  her  milk,  and  therewith  he 
washed  his  eyes,  and  straightway  he  saw  plain,  and  returned 
with  great  joy  to  his  monastery. 

Now  when  Nessa  was  near  the  term  of  her  pregnancy, 
she  went  in  a  chariot  to  her  sister.  And  Ytha  heard  the 
driving  of  the  car,  and  she  sent  one  of  her  maidens  forth, 
saying,  "  I  hear  a  chariot  sounding  as  though  a  king  rode 
therein.  Who  cometh  to  me?"  Then  the  maiden  answered, 
"  It  is  thy  sister  Nessa."  "  It  is  well,"  said  Ytha ;  "  She 
bears  in  her  womb  a  child  who  will  sit  enthroned  in  heaven, 
therefore  did  the  chariot  sound  royally." 

Now  as  soon  as  Nessa  bore  a  son,  it  was  told  to  Ytha, 
and  she  gave  him  a  name,  Mochoemog  (Mo-choem-og), 
meaning  "  My-gentle-youth,"  and  in  Latin  he  is  called  Pul- 
cherius.  Then  his  parents  gave  him  to  S.  Ytha,  that  she 
might  rear  him  in  the  service  of  God,  and  he  grew  up  in 
her  house  till  he  was  twenty  years  old.  And  after  that  he 
went  into  Ulster,  to  S.  Comgall,  and  was  ordained  priest  by 
him,  and  he  resided  many  years  in  Banchor  under  his 
guidance.  But  at  length  S.  Comgall  bade  him  depart  and 
found  a  new  monastery,  and  become  father  of  a  new  genera- 
tion of  monks.     So  he  went  into  Leinster,  to  Enacht,  in 

1  Not  to  be  mistaken  Tor  S.  Fechin  of  Fore.      (  olgan  mistakes  in  to  thinking. 


248  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  13. 

Mount  Blaine,  and  there  he  built  a  cell.  But  being  driven 
forth,  he  went  into  Ossory,  and  the  chief  of  that  part  offered 
him  his  castle,  but  Mochoemog  would  not  accept  it,  but 
went  into  a  desert  place  seeking  a  home  ;  and  the  chief  said 
to  him,  "I  have  a  great  and  dense  forest  near  the  bog 
Lurgan  which  I  will  give  thee."  Then  Mochemog  was 
pleased,  and  he  went  into  the  forest,  and  he  carried  in  his 
hand  a  bell.  Now  Ytha  had  given  him  this  bell  when  he 
was  a  child,  and  it  sounded  not.  "  But,"  said  she,  "  when 
thou  comest  to  the  place  of  thy  resurrection,  then  the  bell 
will  tinkle."  So  Mochoemog  walked  on  till  he  reached  a 
wide  spreading  oak,  under  which  lay  an  old  gray  boar ;  and 
instantly  the  bell  began  to  sound.  So  Mochomeog  knew 
that  he  had  reached  the  place  of  his  resurrection,  and  he 
settled  there,  and  because  of  the  great  grey  boar,  he  called 
the  place  Liath-mor  (Liath,  grey ;  mor,  great.)1 

Here  he  dwelt  for  many  years,  training  saints.  He  was 
greatly  troubled  by  princes,  for  on  the  death  of  his  protector, 
the  chief  who  had  given  him  Liathmor,  his  son  endeavoured 
to  drive  the  aged  abbot  and  his  community  away,  but  was 
miraculously  prevented  from  doing  so.  Once  the  horses  of  the 
king  of  Munster  were  driven  to  pasture  on  the  lands  of  the 
abbey,  because  the  grass  there  was  very  rich.  Mochoemog 
drove  them  all  off,  and  hearing  that  the  king  was  exceed- 
ingly incensed  against  him,  and  had  ordered  that  he  and 
his  monks  should  be  forcibly  ejected  from  the  country,  the 
old  man  hasted  to  Cashel,  where  was  the  king.  The  prince 
seeing  him,  exclaimed,  "  What !  little  old  bald  head,  thou 
here  !  I  shall  have  thee  driven  from  the  place."  "  I  may  be 
bald,"  answered  the  abbot,  "  but  thou  shalt  be  blind  of 
an  eye."  Then  suddenly  there  came  an  inflammation  in 
the  eye  of  the  king,  and  he  lost  the  sight  of  it.  The  king, 
humbled,   implored  relief  from  the  pain.      "  He  shall  be 

1  In  King's  County. 

* % 

March  i3.]  S.  Nicephorus.  249 

freed  from  his  pain,"  answered  Mochoemog,  "  but  he  shall 
remain  blind  of  an  eye."  Then  he  blessed  a  vessel  of 
water,  and  therewith  the  king's  eye  was  washed,  and  the 
inflammation  ceased. 

The  wonders  wrought  by  Mochoemog  are  too  many  to 
be  further  related  here.  We  have  given  a  few  specimens, 
and  must  refer  the  reader  to  the  original  life  for  the  rest 

Mochoemog  died  at  Liathmor,  and  was  there  buried. 


(a.d.  828.) 

[This  is  the  festival  of  the  Translation  of  S.  Nicephorus  in  the  Roman 
Martyrology  and  Greek  Menasa.  June  2nd  is  the  day  of  his  death  also 
observed  in  his  honour  by  the  Greeks.  Authorities  : — His  life  by  Ignatius 
deacon  of  Constantinople,  and  afterwards  bishop  of  Nicaea,  a  contemporary, 
and  an  account  of  his  banishment  by  Theophanes,  a  fellow  sufferer  in  the 

The  father  of  this  saint,  named  Theodore,  was  secretary 
to  the  emperor  Constantine  Copronymus,  but  when  that 
tyrant  declared  himself  a  persecutor  of  the  Catholic  church, 
the  faithful  minister  preferring  to  serve  God  rather  than 
man,  maintained  the  honour  due  to  holy  images  with  so 
much  zeal,  that  he  was  stripped  of  his  honours,  scourged, 
tortured,  and  banished.  The  young  Nicephorus  grew  up 
with  his  father's  example  before  his  eyes  to  stimulate  him 
to  confession  of  the  truth  at  any  sacrifice;  his  education 
was  not  neglected,  and  he  made  rapid  progress  in  all  the 
accomplishments  of  the  age.  When  Constantine  and  Irene 
were  placed  on  the  imperial  throne,  and  restored  the  use 
of  sacred  pictures  and  images  in  churches,  Nicephorus  was 
introduced  to  their  notice,  and  by  his  sterling  merit  obtained 
their  favour.     He  was  by  them  advanced   to  his  father's 

* * 

250  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  13. 

dignity,  and,  by  the  lustre  of  his  sanctity,  he  became  at 
once  the  ornament  of  the  court,  and  the  support  of  the 
state.  He  distinguished  himself  greatly  by  his  zeal  against 
the  Iconoclasts,  and  acted  as  secretary  to  the  second 
council  of  Nicaja.  After  the  death  of  S.  Tarasius,  (Feb. 
25th),  patriarch  of  Constantinople,  in  806,  no  one  was 
found  more  worthy  to  succeed  him  than  Nicephorus.  To 
give  an  authentic  testimony  of  his  faith,  during  the  time  of 
his  consecration  he  held  in  his  hand  a  treatise  he  had 
written  in  defence  of  holy  images,  and  after  the  ceremony 
was  concluded,  he  laid  it  up  behind  the  altar,  as  a  pledge 
that  he  would  always  maintain  the  tradition  of  the  Church. 
As  soon  as  he  was  seated  in  the  patriarchal  chair,  he 
set  about  endeavouring  to  effect  a  reformation  of  manners 
of  the  clergy  and  people,  and  his  precepts  from  the 
pulpit  received  double  force  from  his  example.  He  ap- 
plied himself  with  unwearied  diligence  to  all  the  duties 
of  the  ministry ;  and,  by  his  zeal  and  invincible  meekness 
and  patience,  was  able  to  effect  much  which  a  less  earnest 
or  harsher  character  would  have  found  it  impossible  to 

Constantine  was  blinded,  Irene  banished,  Nicephorus  I., 
her  successor,  had  fallen  before  the  Bulgarians.  Michael  I. 
was  driven  from  the  throne,  and  Leo  the  Armenian  be- 
came emperor  in  813.  He  was  an  Iconoclast,  and  en- 
deavoured both  by  artifices  and  open  violence  to  establish 
that  heresy.  His  first  endeavour,  however,  was,  by  crafty 
suggestions,  to  gain  over  the  holy  patriarch  to  favour  his 
design  of  destroying  the  sacred  pictures  and  images  which 
had  resumed  their  places  in  the  churches  and  streets,  after 
the  second  council  of  Nicasa  had  sanctioned  their  use.  But 
S.  Nicephorus  answered  him,  "We  cannot  change  the 
ancient  traditions  :  we  respect  holy  images  as  we  do  the 
cross  and  the  book  of  the  gospels."     For  it  must  be  ob- 

* * 

,J, __ £l 

March  13.]  *£  Nicephorus.  251 

served  that  the  ancient  Iconoclasts  venerated  the  book  of 
the  gospels,  and  the  figure  of  the  cross,  though  with  singular 
inconsistency,  they  forbade  the  rendering  of  the  like  honour 
to  holy  images.  The  saint  showed,  that  far  from  dero- 
gating from  the  supreme  honour  of  God,  we  honour  Him 
when  we  for  His  sake  respect  His  angels,  saints,  prophets, 
and  ministers;  and  also  when  we  show  reverence  towards 
all  such  things  as  belong  to  His  service,  like  sacred  vessels, 
churches,  and  images.  But  the  tyrant  persisted  in  his 
error,  and  the  first  steps  he  took  against  images  were 
marked  by  caution.  He  privately  encouraged  some  soldiers 
to  maltreat  an  image  of  Christ  on  a  great  cross  at  the 
brazen  gate  of  the  city;  and  then  he  ordered  the  image 
to  be  taken  off  the  cross,  pretending  he  did  it  to  prevent  a 
second  profanation.  S.  Nicephorus  saw  the  storm  gather- 
ing, and  spent  most  of  his  time  in  prayer,  in  company 
with  several  holy  bishops  and  abbots.  Shortly  after,  the 
emperor,  having  assembled  certain  Iconoclastic  bishops  in  his 
palace,  sent  for  the  patriarch  and  his  fellow-bishops.1  They 
obeyed  the  summons,  but  entreated  the  emperor  to  leave 
the  government  of  the  Church  to  her  pastors.  ^Emilian, 
bishop  of  Cyzicus,  one  of  their  body,  said,  "  If  this  is  an 
ecclesiastical  affair,  let  it  be  discussed  in  the  Church, 
according  to  custom,  not  in  the  palace."  Euthymius, 
bishop  of  Sardis,  said,  "  For  these  eight  hundred  years  past, 
since  the  coming  of  Christ,  there  have  been  pictures  of 
Him,  and  He  has  been  honoured  in  them.  Who  shall  now 
have  the  boldness  to  abolish  so  ancient  a  tradition?"  S. 
Theodore  of  the  Studium  spoke  after  the  bishops,  and 
addressed  the  emperor,  "My  lord,  do  not  disturb  the  order 
of  the  Church.  God  hath  placed  in  it  apostles,  prophets, 
pastors,  and  teachers.8     You  he  hath  entrusted  with  the 

1  For  a  further  account  of  this  assembly  and  the  ensuing  persecution,  see  the 
life  of  S.  Nicetas,  April  3rd. 
J  Eph.  iv.  11. 

4> . # 

#- * 

252  Lives  of  the  Saints,  [March  13. 

care  of  the  State ;  the  Church  hath  he  entrusted  to  the  care 
of  her  Bishops."  The  emperor,  in  a  rage,  drove  them  from 
his  presence.  Some  time  after,  the  Iconoclast  bishops  held 
an  assembly  in  the  imperial  palace,  and  cited  the  patriarch 
to  appear  before  them.  To  their  summons  he  returned  this 
answer,  "  Who  gave  you  this  authority  ?  If  it  was  he  who 
pilots  the  vessel  of  old  Rome,  I  am  ready.  If  it  was  the 
Alexandrine  successor  of  the  Evangelist  Mark,  I  am  ready. 
If  it  was  the  patriarch  of  Antioch,  or  he  of  Jerusalem,  I 
make  no  opposition.  But  who  are  ye  ?  In  my  diocese  you 
have  no  jurisdiction."  He  then  read  the  canon  which  de- 
clares those  excommunicate  who  presume  to  exercise  any 
act  of  jurisdiction  in  the  diocese  of  another  bishop.  They, 
however,  proceeded  to  pronounce  against  him  a  sentence  of 
deposition  ;  and  the  holy  pastor,  after  several  attempts  had 
been  made  secretly  to  take  away  his  life,  was  sent  by  the 
emperor  into  banishment.  Michael  the  Stammerer,  who 
succeeded  Leo  the  Armenian,  in  820,  also  favoured  the 
Iconoclastic  faction,  and  continued  to  harass  S.  Nicephorus, 
who  died  in  exile,  on  June  2nd,  828,  in  the  monastery  of 
S.  Theodore,  which  he  had  erected,  at  the  age  of  seventy. 
By  order  of  the  empress  Theodora,  his  body  was  brought  to 
Constantinople  with  great  pomp,  in  846,  on  the  13th  of 


(CIRC.    A.D.    840.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  : — A  life  written  by  Eginus  the  monk, 
about  the  year  960,  not,  apparently  entire,  and  the  Lections  of  the  Breviary 
of  Camerino.] 

S.  Ansewin,  or  Hanse-win,  was  a  native  of  Camerino, 
in  Tuscany.  He  retired  in  early  life  into  the  solitude  of 
Castel-Raymond,  near  Torcello,  after  his  ordination  as  priest. 
He  was  appointed  chaplain  and  confessor  to  the  emperor 


* — * 

* _ X 

March  13.]  .S".  Ansewin,  253 

Louis,  and  in  822,  he  was  nominated  to  the  bishopric  of  his 
native  city.  A  strange  legend  of  his  expedition  to  Rome 
to  receive  consecration  has  been  recorded  by  his  bio- 
grapher. On  arriving  at  Narni,  with  a  calvacade  of  nobles 
and  friends  who  accompanied  him  from  Camerino,  they  put 
up  at  a  tavern  for  refreshment,  and  asked  for  wine.  The 
publican,  an  ill-conditioned  fellow,  served  them  with  what 
they  desired,  but  Ansewin,  looking  at  it,  detected  that  it 
was  watered,  and  sharply  rebuked  the  taverner.  The  man 
surlily  replied  that  they  must  drink  what  was  set  before 
them,  and  that  it  was  no  odds  to  him  whether  they  liked  his 
wine  or  not 

"  Now,  friend,"  said  the  bishop-elect,  "  we  have  no  drink- 
ing vessels  with  us,  so  bring  us  forth  horns  or  goblets." 

"Not  I,"  answered  the  publican,  "I  provide  wine,  but 
customers  usually  bring  their  own  cups." 

"But,  friend,  we  have  none  with  us."  "That  is  your 
affair,  not  mine,"  answered  the  fellow  rudely.  "Then  we 
must  do  what  we  can,"  said  Ansewin,  drawing  off  his  cape, 
and  holding  out  the  hood.  "  Come,  host !  pour  the  wine 
in  here."  The  man  stared,  and  then  burst  into  a  roar  of 
laughter.  But  Ansewin  persisted.  "  Then,  fool,  I  will  do 
so,  and  waste  the  liquor,  but  mind,  you  pay  for  it,"  said  he. 
"  Pour  boldly,"  said  the  bishop-elect,  holding  the  hood 
distended ;  and  the  inn-keeper  obeyed.  Then  two  marvels 
occurred,  the  hood  retained  the  liquor,  and  served  as  a 
drinking  horn  to  all  the  company,  and  the  water  which  had 
diluted  the  wine  separated  from  it,  and  flowed  away  over 
the  edge. 

He  ruled  his  diocese  with  great  prudence,  and  in  time  of 
famine,  by  his  wise  regulations  and  abundant  alms,  greatly 
relieved  the  sufferings  of  the  poor.  He  was  absent  from 
his  dear  city  where  he  had  been  born,  and  which  he  had 
ministered  to  with  so  much  love,  when  he  was  stricken  with 

* * 

254  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  t3. 

mortal  sickness.  He  was  greatly  distressed  at  the  prospect 
of  dying  out  of  his  diocese,  and  ordered  a  horse  to  be 
brought  that  he  might  ride  home.  His  companions,  seeing 
death  in  his  face,  remonstrated ;  but  he  persisted  in  his 
command,  and  when  his  horse  was  brought  to  the  door, 
he  descended,  supported  by  his  friends  to  it  Then  the 
horse  knelt  down,  and  suffered  the  dying  man  to  mount 
him  without  effort.  As  soon  as  he  was  in  Camerino,  he 
ordered  all  his  flock  to  assemble  to  receive  his  final  bless- 
ing, and  then  gently  expired. 

Relics  at  Camerino,  in  the  cathedral,  and  a  portion  of 
the  shoulder  in  the  Vatican. 

In  art  he  is  represented  with  his  hood  full  of  wine. 


(A.D.    857.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  : — S.  Eulogius,  (March  nth),  himself 
a  martyr  in  the  same  persecution,  859,  wrote  the  Acts  of  all  those  who 
suffered  at  that  time,  either  from  his  own  knowledge,  or  from  the  testi- 
mony of  eye  witnesses.] 

During  the  persecution  of  the  Christians  under  the 
Moorish  occupation  of  Spain,  there  was  a  priest  in  the 
village  of  Cabra,  about  five-and-twenty  miles  from  Cordova, 
named  Ruderick,  who  had  two  brothers,  whereof  one  had 
renounced  Christianity  and  become  a  Moslem.  One  night 
this  apostate  brother  and  the  other  were  quarrelling,  and 
came  to  blows,  when  Ruderick  rushed  between  them  to 
separate  them,  but  was  so  mauled  by  both,  that  he  fell 
senseless  on  the  ground.  The  Mussulman  brother  then 
placed  him  on  a  litter,  and  had  him  carried  about  the 
country,  walking  by  his  side,  and  showing  him  off  as  a 
renegade   priest.      Ruderick   was    too   much   bruised  and 

* # 

March  l3o  ,S.  Kennocha.  255 

strained  to  resist  for  a  while,  but  he  bore  this  with  greater 
anguish  than  his  bodily  injuries,  and  as  soon  as  ever  he  was 
sufficiently  recovered,  he  effected  his  escape.  The  rene- 
gade meeting  him  some  time  after  in  the  streets  of  Cordova, 
dragged  him  before  the  cadi,  and  denounced  him  as  having 
professed  the  Mussulman  religion,  and  then  returned  to 
Christianity.  Ruderick  indignantly  denied  that  he  had 
ever  apostatized,  but  the  cadi,  believing  the  accusation, 
ordered  him  to  be  cast  into  the  foulest  den  of  the  city 
prison,  reserved  for  parricides.  There  he  found  a  Christian, 
named  Salomon,  awaiting  sentence  on  a  similar  charge  of 
having  conformed  to  the  established  religion  for  a  while, 
and  then  returned  to  the  worship  of  Christ.  They  were 
retained  in  prison  for  some  time,  the  cadi  hoping  thus 
to  weary  them  into  apostasy.  But  the  two  confessors 
encouraged  each  other  to  stand  fast  Being  made  ac- 
quainted with  this,  the  cadi  ordered  them  to  be  separated, 
but  when  this  also  failed,  he  sentenced  them  both  to 


(ABOUT   A.D.    IO07.) 
[Aberdeen  Breviary.     Authority  : — The  same.] 

On  March  13th,  the  Ancient  Scottish  Church  commemo- 
rated S.  Kennocha,  a  virgin,  who,  desirous  of  consecrating 
herself  wholly  to  Jesus  Christ,  met  with  long  and  vehement 
opposition  from  her  parents  and  friends,  and  underwent 
from  them  great  hardships  and  persecution,  without  shaking 
her  constancy.  She  led  a  life  as  a  solitary  of  great  severity, 
and  attained  a  good  old  age.  She  was  buried  in  the 
church  of  Kyle. 

* — — * 

256  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i4. 

March  14. 

SS.  Forty-seven  Martyrs,  under  Nero,  in  Rome,  a.d.  67. 

SS.  Peter,  Aphrodisius,  and  Others,  MM.  at  Carthage. 

SS.  Two  Monks  and  a  Deacon,  MM.  in  the  Airuzzi,  6th  cent. 

S.  Lubin,  B.  of  Chartres,  circ.  a.d.  557. 

S.  Eutychius,  or  Eustasius,  and  Companions,  MM.  at  Charm, 

in  Mesopotamia,  a.d.  741. 
S.  Mathilda,  Emf.  of  Germany,  a.d.  968. 

(a.d.  67.) 

[Reman  Martyrology.     Authority  : — The  ancient  Acts  of  SS.  Processus 

and  Martinian.l 

iHESE  forty-seven  martyrs  are  believed  to  have 
been  converted  by  S.  Peter,  at  the  time  when 
he  was  confined  along  with  S.  Paul,  in  the 
Mamertine  prison,  in  which  they  spent  nine 
months.  According  to  tradition  S.  Peter  brought  water  out 
of  the  rock  wherewith  to  baptize  them.  They  suffered 
execution  by  the  sword. 


(date  uncertain.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.] 

The  greatest  confusion  and  uncertainty  exists  relative  to 
these  martyrs.  In  the  Roman  Martyrology  they  are  said  to 
have  suffered  in  the  Vandal  persecution,  in  Africa.  But 
there  is  some  mistake,  as  the  Bollandist  fathers  have 
pointed  out     Aphrodisius  there  can  be  no  doubt  is  wrong, 


March  i4.]  S.  Lubin.  257 

and  should  be  Euphrosius,  who  in  ancient  Martyrologies  is 
mentioned  with  SS.  Donatus,  Frumentius,  and  others,  but 
not  with  Peter ;  and  that  the  martyrdom  took  place  in  the 
Vandal  persecution  is  an  error  of  Baronius,  trusting  to 
Galesinius,  with  whom  it  was  pure  conjecture.  There  is 
also  no  evidence  that  Peter  ought  to  be  coupled  with 
Euphrosius  and  Donatus ;  but  on  the  authority  of  ancient 
Martyrologies,  with  Alexander,  Mamerius,  Nabor,  and 
others,  of  equally  unknown  date. 


(a-D.  557.) 

[Gallican  Martyrology.  His  translation  is  commemorated  in  the  Roman, 
on  September  15th.  Authority : — An  ancient  life  of  uncertain  date  and 
unknown  authorship.] 

S.  Lubin,  (Leobinus),  was  the  son  of  poor  parents  near 
Poitiers,  and  was  born  in  the  reign  of  Clovis  I.  (the  latter 
half  of  the  5th  cent.)  His  boyhood  was  spent  in  ploughing 
the  fields  and  feeding  cattle.  But  he  had  a  great  desire  to 
learn  to  read,  and  having  made  the  acquaintance  of  a  good 
monk,  he  persuaded  him  to  ink  the  letters  of  the  alphabet 
on  his  leather  girdle,  so  that  he  might  carry  them  about 
with  him  when  he  went  after  the  cattle,  and  learn  them  by 
heart  His  intelligence  opening,  he  was  sent  to  a  monas- 
tery of  that  country,  but  whether  it  was  Liguge"  or  Nouaille 
is  not  certain,  and  was  made  cellarer,  and  required  to  ring 
the  hours.  These  duties  gave  him  little  leisure  for  pursuing 
his  studies ;  he  therefore  curtailed  his  hours  of  sleep,  and  as 
his  lamp  troubled  the  sleep  of  the  brethren,  he  hung  a 
curtain  over  his  window  to  screen  the  light  from  them. 
After  having  spent  eight  years  in  this  monastery,  the  desire 
came  upon  him  to  visit  S.  Avitus,  who  lived  as  a  hermit  in 

vol.  in.  17 

* ■ 


258  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  x4. 

Perch e,  (July  17  th.)  Having  gone  into  this  country,  he 
met  first  with  S.  Calais,  who  had  not  then  left  S.  Avitus,  to 
settle  in  Maine,  (July  1st);  this  great  master  of  the  spiritual 
life  advised  Lubin  not  to  attach  himself  to  the  service  of 
any  church  or  chapel,  as  it  would  be  the  means  of  drawing 
him  into  the  world,  and  interfere  with  the  exercise  of  his 
religious  rule,  and  not  to  seek  a  small  monastery,  for  in 
such  every  one  wants  to  be  master.  S.  Avitus  counselled 
Lubin  to  spend  some  time  longer  in  a  monastery  before  he 
retired  into  the  desert.  He  therefore  took  the  road  to 
Lerins,  but  a  monk  of  that  abbey  whom  he  met  assuring 
him  that  it  was  unhealthy,  he  turned  aside  with  the  monk, 
and  went  to  Javoux,  where  S.  Hilary,  the  bishop  of  that 
place,1  received  them  into  his  community.  But  he  did  not 
long  remain  there,  thanks  to  his  new  acquaintance  from 
Lerins,  who  seems  to  have  been  nowhere  content,  and  they 
went  together  to  Ile-Barbe,  near  Lyons.  After  a  while  the 
vagabond  monk  wanted  to  make  another  change,  and  draw 
Lubin  away  with  him,  but  Lubin  shook  himself  free  of  this 
restless  spirit,  and  remained  five  years  in  Ile-Barbe. 

During  a  war  which  broke  out  between  the  Franks  and 
Burgundians,  ending  in  the  defeat  of  the  latter  by  the  sons 
of  Clovis,  in  525,  the  abbey  of  Ile-Barbe  was  invaded  by 
the  soldiers  greedy  of  plunder.  They  found  it  deserted  by 
all  the  monks,  who  had  escaped,  save  S.  Lubin  and  an  old 
man.  The  old  man,  on  being  asked  where  the  treasures  of 
the  church  were  concealed,  meanly  said  that  S.  Lubin  knew 
better  than  he ;  and  the  soldiers  cruelly  tormented  the 
saint  by  winding  whipcord  tightly  round  his  head,  and  then 
running  a  stick  under  it  behind  the  head,  and  turning  the 
stick  so  as  to  tighten  the  cord  till  it  sank  into  the  temples. 
This  was  a  favourite  torture  with  the  barbarians,  when  they 
wanted  to   extract   the   secret   of  hidden    treasures    from 

1  The  seat  was  afterwards  transferred  to  Mende. 


*- __* 

March  i4.j  S.  Lubin.  259 

prisoners.  They  also  tied  his  feet,  and  let  him,  head  down 
into  the  river,  but  were  unable  to  extract  from  him  the  in- 
formation they  desired,  and  of  which  he  may  have  been 
ignorant.  Thinking  him  dead,  the  soldiers  threw  him  on 
the  bank  and  left  him.  He  recovered,  and  made  his  way 
into  Perche  to  S.  Avitus,  and  served  as  cellarer  in  his 
monastery.  On  the  death  of  S.  Avitus,  430,  he  and  two 
others  retired  into  the  wilderness  of  Charbonniers,  on  the 
extremities  of  the  forest  of  Montmirail,  which  separates 
Beauce  from  Maine.  There  they  built  three  little  cells,  and 
spent  five  years  in  solitude.  But  miracles  proclaimed  the 
sanctity  of  S.  Lubin ;  by  his  intercession  a  fire  which  had 
broken  out  in  the  forest,  and  threatened  to  consume  it,  was 
arrested.  Hearing  this,  ^Etherius,  bishop  of  Chartres, 
ordained  him  deacon,  and  made  him  abbot  of  the  mona- 
stery of  Brou,  in  Perche ;  he  afterwards  ordained  him  priest 
to  give  him  more  authority  over  his  monks. 

S.  Aubin,  bishop  of  Angers,  being  on  his  way  to  visit  S. 
Csesarius  of  Aries,  persuaded  S.  Lubin  to  accompany  him 
(536).  When  they  came  into  Provence,  Lubin  yearned  to 
retire  into  the  peaceful  retreat  of  Lerins,  and  escape  the 
burden  of  the  charge  of  his  monastery,  but  S.  Aubin  sharply 
rebuked  him,  and  made  him  see  that  he  had  no  right  to 
resign  without  sufficient  cause  a  burden  laid  on  him  by  God. 
In  544,  ^Etherius  died,  and  Lubin  was  elected  to  the  see  of 
Chartres  by  the  almost  unanimous  voice  of  the  clergy  and 
laity.  The  saint  on  his  ordination  introduced  various  reforms 
into  the  see.  S.  Lubin  assisted  in  the  fifth  council  of 
Orleans,  in  549,  and  in  the  second  of  Paris,  551.  He  died 
in  587,  and  was  buried  in  the  church  of  S.  Martin-du-Val, 
where  his  body  was  religiously  preserved  till  the  Calvinists 
sacked  the  church  in  the  16th  century,  when  they  burnt  his 
bones,  and  cast  the  ashes  to  the  winds.  His  skull  was, 
however,  preserved,  but  it  also  was  lost  at  the  Revolution. 


260  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  M. 


(a.d.    968.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority : — The  Life  drawn  up  by  order  of  the 
emperor  Henry,  her  grandson.] 

The  father  of  the  empress  Mathilda  was  Dietrich,  count 
of  Ringelheim,  a  descendant  of  the  famous  Witikind,  prince 
of  the  Saxons,  who  had  maintained  so  long  and  stubborn  a 
resistance  against  Charlemagne.  Her  mother,  Reinhild, 
was  of  royal  Danish  and  Frisian  blood.  In  her  childhood 
Mathilda  was  entrusted  to  the  tender  care  of  her  grand- 
mother Hedwig,  who  had  quitted  the  world,  and  had  be- 
come abbess  of  Erfurt. 

Henry  the  Fowler,  son  of  duke  Otho  of  Saxony,  fell  in 
love  with  Mathilda,  and  married  her.  The  "Life  of  S. 
Mathilda,"  written  by  order  of  Henry  the  Pious,  her  grand- 
son, says  that  Otho,  hearing  of  the  virtues  of  Mathilda, 
entered  into  negotiations  with  the  count  of  Ringelheim  to 
have  her  married  to  his  son  Henry.  This  is,  no  doubt, 
true,  but  it  is  only  half  the  truth.  The  other  part  was  sup- 
pressed by  the  pious  historian.  In  fact,  Henry  was  already 
married  to  Hathburg,  daughter  of  Erwin  of  Altstadt,  whom 
he  had  taken  from  the  cloister,  where  she  was  being  edu- 
cated, and  by  whom  he  became  father  of  Thankmar,  who 
afterwards  waged  war  with  Otho  the  Great,  son  of  Henry 
and  Mathilda,  claiming  the  duchy  of  Saxony  as  his  own  by 
right  of  seniority  of  birth.  Henry  saw  and  fell  in  love  with 
Mathilda,  and  the  young  simple  girl  was  probably  hardly 
consulted  in  the  matter,  when  Henry  divorced  his  wife 
Hathburg,  sent  her  back  to  her  convent,  and  demanded  the 
hand  of  Mathilda  of  her  parents.  The  wrong  done  to 
Hathburg  was  bitterly  atoned  for  in  after  years,  for  Mathilda 
was  sorely  tried  by  the  ingratitude  of  her  own  sons,  and 

*fr — 4, 


March,  p.  260.] 

[March  14. 

262  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  x4. 

The  picture  of  S.  Michael  was  borne  in  the  van,  as  the  ban- 
ner of  the  empire.  A  murderous  struggle  commenced,  the 
Hungarians  shouting,  "  Hui !  hui !"  and  the  Germans, 
"  Kyrie-eleison  !"  Victory  long  wavered,  but  was  at  length 
decided  by  the  discipline  and  enthusiastic  valour  of  the 
Germans.  An  immense  number  of  Christian  slaves  were 
restored  to  liberty.  After  the  victory,  Henry  knelt,  at  the 
head  of  his  troops,  and  returned  thanks  to  Heaven.  The 
terror  of  the  Hungarians  now  equalled  that  with  which  they 
had  formerly  inspired  the  Germans.  In  the  belief  that  the 
arch-angel  Michael,  whose  gigantic  picture  they  ever  beheld 
borne  in  the  van  of  the  German  army,  was  the  god  of  vic- 
tory, they  made  golden  wings,  similar  to  those  with  which 
he  was  represented,  for  their  own  idols.  The  hand  of  the 
emperor,  and,  underneath,  a  horse  shoe,  are  still  to  be  seen 
cut  in  the  rock  at  Keuschberg,  as  a  token  of  the  victory. 
Germany  remained  undisturbed  in  this  quarter  during  the 
rest  of  the  reign  of  Henry  the  Fowler.  Henry  afterwards 
planned  a  visit  to  Rome,  but  died  without  accomplishing 
that  project,  in  936,  when  at  the  height  of  his  splendour 
and  renown.  He  was  buried  at  Quedlinburg,  his  favourite 

The  union  of  Mathilda  with  her  husband  had  been  a  very 
happy  one.  Both  endeavoured  to  advance  the  kingdom  of 
God  by  every  means  in  their  power,  and  together  they  con- 
certed laws  full  of  justice,  to  increase  the  prosperity  of  their 
dominions.  Henry  left  behind  him  three  sons  by  Mathilda, 
Otho,  who  was  elected  to  the  imperial  throne  on  the  decease 
of  his  father,  Henry  the  Quarrelsome,  duke  of  Bavaria,  and 
Bruno,  archbishop  of  Cologne.  Mathilda  spent  her  time 
in  devotion,  and  gave  abundant  alms  to  the  needy.  She 
was  very  sober  in  her  repasts,  gentle  in  conversation,  and 
ready  to  do  with  promptitude  and  cheerfulness  whatever  she 
deemed  consistent  with  her  position. 


March  14.]  6".  Mathilda.  263 

Otho  had  been  unanimously  elected  emperor,  and  was 
crowned  at  Aix-la-Chapelle  with  more  than  ordinary  solem- 
nity. He  was  invested  with  the  gigantic  crown  of  Charle- 
magne, the  sceptre,  the  sword,  the  cross,  the  sacred  lance 
of  Longinus,  and  the  golden  mantle.  And  he  looked  an 
emperor.  Witikind  says  of  him  in  later  years,  "His  de- 
meanour was  replete  with  majesty.  His  white  hair  waved 
over  his  shoulders.  His  eyes  were  bright  and  sparkling ; 
his  beard  of  an  extraordinary  length ;  his  breast  like  that  of 
a  lion,  and  covered  with  hair." 

Proud  of  his  position  and  power,  the  young  emperor  was 
impatient  of  his  mother's  advice  and  authority.  Listening 
to  those  who  viewed  her  virtues  with  impatience,  as  a  re- 
straint on  the  licence  of  a  court,  they  persuaded  Otho  that 
she  had  lavished  the  money  of  the  empire  in  charities.  He 
at  once  ordered  his  mother  to  retire  from  court  to  Engern, 
in  Ravensberg.  It  was  grief  to  Mathilda  to  be  thus  treated 
by  her  eldest  son,  but  it  was  greater  grief  to  her  to  find  that 
her  favourite  son,  Henry  of  Bavaria,  had  been  the  prime 
instigator  of  her  banishment 

But  it  was  not  long  before  Henry  fell  dangerously  ill,  and 
Edith,  the  wife  of  Otho,  deeming  this  a  punishment  for  the 
wrong  done  to  the  saintly  dowager  empress,  and  dreading 
the  same  for  her  husband,  persuaded  Otho  to  recall  his 
mother.  He  wrote  to  her,  asking  her  pardon,  and  express- 
ing his  deep  contrition  for  his  past  ingratitude.  Mathilda 
was  not  one  to  bear  resentment,  and  she  returned  to  court. 
Mathilda  now  reaped  with  sorrow  the  harvest  of  her  early 
involuntary  fault  in  marrying  a  divorced  man.  Thankmar 
was  in  rebellion,  for  Otho  had  not  been  content  with  depriv- 
ing him  of  the  imperial  throne,  but  had  also  seized  his  large 
maternal  inheritance  in  Saxony,  and  had  bestowed  it  on  an 
adherent  and  friend.  Thankmar  took  arms,  and  was  upheld 
by  the  Saxons.       The  emperor  marched  against  his  half- 



264  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i4. 

brother,  besieged  him  in  Everburg,  and  Thankmar  was  slain 
at  the  foot  of  the  altar,  whither  he  had  fled  for  safety. 
Thankmar  had  been  joined  by  Eberhardt,  duke  of  Fran- 
conia,  who,  now  that  all  was  lost,  fell  at  the  feet  of  Henry 
of  Bavaria,  and  besought  him  to  intercede  in  his  behalf 
with  the  emperor.  To  his  surprise,  Henry  replied,  that  he 
was  willing  to  join  with  him  in  his  designs  against  Otho,  in 
order  to  deprive  him  of  the  crown,  which  he  coveted  for 
himself.  For  the  present  the  two  confederates  dissembled 
their  projects,  and  Eberhardt  made  his  submission  to  Otho 
with  expressions  of  the  deepest  contrition  for  his  guilt 
Henry  gained  confederates  to  his  conspiracy,  and  suddenly 
attacked  Otho  as  he  was  crossing  the  Rhine  at  Zante,  but 
was  defeated  with  great  slaughter.  Otho  pardoned  his  bro- 
ther, who  remained  afterwards  true  to  his  allegiance,  finding 
that  it  was  his  best  interest  to  cling  to  his  powerful  brother. 
He  was  a  man  of  treacherous  and  cruel  heart,  and  when  his 
Bavarian  subjects  rose  against  him,  and  called  the  Hunga- 
rians to  their  assistance,  having  defeated  them  with  the  aid 
of  Otho  (955),  he  buried  alive,  or  burnt  in  beds  of  quick- 
lime, the  leaders  of  the  adverse  party,  put  out  the  eyes  of 
the  bishop  of  Salzburg,  and  the  patriarch  Lupus  of  Aquileia 
met  with  a  still  more  wretched  fate  at  his  hands. 

In  the  midst  of  all  these  civil  wars  the  dowager  empress 
laboured  to  relieve  the  sorrows  of  the  peasants  upon  whom 
the  state  of  hostilities  weighed  most  heavily.  Her  time  was 
devoted  to  nursing  the  sick,  releasing  debtors  from  prison, 
and  feeding  the  starving. 

But  at  length,  saddened  beyond  endurance  by  the  con- 
duct of  her  sons,  and  despairing  of  the  world,  she  retired 
into  the  monastery  of  Nordhausen,  which  she  had  built, 
and  gathering  about  her  three  thousand  sisters,  spent  the 
rest  of  her  days  in  tears  and  prayer.  She  lived  to  receive 
her  grand-daughter,   Mathilda,  the   child  of  the    emperor 

4« — — — ^ 


March  14.J 

6".  Mathilda. 


Otho,  into  her  house,  and  to  commit  into  her  hands  the 
government  of  the  community. 

She  died  on  March  14th,  968,  and  was  buried  in  the 
church  of  S.  Servetus,  at  Quedlinburg,  by  the  side  of  her 
husband,  Henry. 

Symbolic  carving  at  the  Abbey  of  8.    D«ni» 




266  Lives  of  the  Saints.  {March  iS. 

March  15. 

S.  Aristobulus,  M.,  ut  cent. 

S.  Longinus,  M.,  1st  cent. 

S.  Nicander,  M.  in  Egypt,  cire.  a.d.  303. 

S.  Matrona,  M.  at  Thessalonica. 

S.  Matrona,  /•'.  in  Portugal. 

S.  Matrona,  V.M.  at  Barcelona,  in  Spain. 

S.  Maoorian,  C.  at  Trent,  ith  cent. 

S.  Tranquilmus,  Ab.  at  Dijon,  6th  cent. 

S.  Zacharias,  Pope  of  Rome,  a.d.  752. 

S.  Leocritia,  V.M.  at  Cordova.     (See  p.  12a.) 


(1ST  CENT.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  Greek  Menologium  and  Menaea,  on  March  16th. 
In  the  Anglican  Martyrology  he  is  entitled  bishop  and  martyr.  Authority  : 
— Notice  in  the  Martyrologies  and  Menaea.] 

OTHING  is  known  for  certain  of  S.  Aristobulus, 
who  was  one  of  the  seventy  disciples  of  our 
Lord.  He  is  said  by  the  Greeks  to  have 
preached  in  Britain.  He  may  be  the  Arystly 
who,  according  to  the  Welsh  Triads,  was  one  of  the  founders 
of  Christianity  in  Britain.  The  Spaniards  claim  him  as  one 
of  their  apostles.  The  Greeks  say  that  he  was  the  brother 
of  S.  Barnabas,  that  he  was  ordained  bishop,  and  died  a 


(1ST  CENT.) 

[Modern  Roman  Martyrology.  The  name  of  Longinus  was  not  known 
to  the  Greeks  previous  to  the  patriarch  Germanus,  in  715.  It  was  intro- 
duced amongst  the  Westerns  from  the  Apocryphal  Gospel  of  Nicodemus. 
There  is  no  reliable  authority  for  the  Acts  and  martyrdom  of  this  saint.] 

The  name  Longinus,  given  in  the  gospel  of  Nicodemus 
to  the  soldier  who  pierced  the  side  of  Christ,  is  probably  due 

March  iS.]        .SV^.  Longinus  <2f  Nicander.  267 

to  a  mistake.  The  name  is  probably  Latinized  from  Longche, 
a  spear.  Some  think  that  the  soldier  who  pierced  the  side, 
and  the  centurion  who  exclaimed  at  the  earthquake,  con- 
fessing the  Sonship  of  Christ,  are  the  same,  but  there  is  the 
greatest  uncertainty  on  every  point  connected  with  Lon- 
ginus.  The  Greeks  commemorate  Longinus  the  Centurion 
on  October  16th.  The  Latin  Acts  of  S.  Longinus  confuse 
the  centurion  and  the  soldier  together.  The  Greek  Acts 
pretend  to  be  by  S.  Hesychius  (March  28th),  but  are  an  im- 
pudent forgery  of  late  date.  It  is  pretended  that  the  body 
of  S.  Longinus  was  found  at  Mantua  in  1304,  together  with 
the  sponge  stained  with  Christ's  blood,  wherewith  he  had 
assisted  in  cleansing  our  Lord's  body  when  it  was  taken 
down  from  the  cross.  These  relics  have  been  distributed 
in  various  places.  Part  are  in  Prague,  others  in  Carlstein, 
the  body  in  the  Vatican  at  Rome.  But  the  Sardinians  assert 
that  they  possess  the  body  of  S.  Longinus,  which  was  found 
in  their  island,  where  he  had  suffered  under  Nero.  And  the 
Greeks  say  he  suffered  in  Gabala,  in  Cappadocia.  The 
head  is,  however,  also  said  to  have  been  found  in  Jerusalem, 
and  carried  into  Cappadocia. 


(ABOUT   A.D.    302.) 
[Roman  Martyrology  and  Greek  Menaea.]         \ 

S.  Nicander  flourished  in  the  reign  of  Diocletian,  in 
Egypt  He  visited  the  Christian  confessors  in  their 
dungeons,  and  ministered  to  their  necessities ;  and  when 
they  suffered,  he  gathered  their  ashes  and  bones,  and 
reverently  buried  them.  This  devotion  could  not  long 
remain  unobserved  by  the  heathen,  and  he  was  denounced 
to  the  governor,  who  sentenced  him  to  death. 

268  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  xi. 

S.  MATRON  A,  V.  M. 

(date  unknown.) 

[Three  saints  of  this  name  are  commemorated  on  this  day.  At  Barce- 
lona one  called  Virgin  and  Martyr,  another  of  Thessalonica,  in  the  Roman 
Martyrology,  called  Martyr,  but  it  is  not  said  that  she  was  a  Virgin  ;  an- 
other at  Capua,  in  Campania,  where  she  is  said  to  be  a  Virgin  and  a  native 
of  Portugal.  They  were  three  distinct  persons  living  at  different  dates,  as 
their  histories  testify,  but  on  account  of  the  names  of  the  Barcelonese  and 
Capuan  Saints  being  identical  with  that  of  S.  Matrona  in  the  Roman 
Martyrology,  their  festivals  are  kept  on  the  same  day.  Matrona  of 
Thessalonica  is  commemorated  by  the  Greeks  on  March  27th.] 

S.  Matrona  of  Barcelona  was  early  left  an  orphan 
and  was  adopted  by  her  aunt,  who  went  with  her  to  Italy, 
and  settled  in  the  Campagna.  The  girl  was  given  a  crucifix, 
which  she  ever  carried  about  with  her.  Having  been 
denounced  as  a  Christian,  she  was  thrown  into  prison  and 
starved  to  death. 

S.  Matrona  of  Thessalonica  was  the  slave  of  a  Jewess, 
who  having  discovered  that  her  servant  was  a  Christian, 
beat  her  to  death  with  a  stick. 


(A.D.    752.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  and  those  of  Ado,  Maurolycus,  and  Notker,  on 
March  14th,  so  also  Molanus  in  his  additions  to  Usuardus.  Authority  :— 
His  life  by  Anastasius  the  Librarian.] 

Zacharias,  a  Greek  by  birth,  the  son  of  Polychronius, 
was  educated  with  care  in  every  science.  He  went  to 
Rome,  where  he  was  ordained  priest,  at  a  time  when  the 
eternal  city  was  subject  to  constant  alarms  from  the 
Lombards.  Luitprand,  king  of  the  Lombards,  ill  satisfied 
because  Gregory  III.  extended  his  favour  to  Thrasymund, 



March*iJ  vS1.  Zacharias.  269 

duke  of  Spoleto,  laid  siege  to  Rome,  and  did  not  retire  till 
his  troops  had  pillaged  the  church  of  S.  Peter,  which  the 
Goths  had  hitherto  respected.  At  this  moment,  just  as 
Gregory  had  asked  help  of  Charles  Martel  against  Luit- 
prand,  the  see  became  vacant  through  his  death. 

Zacharias  was  elected  to  the  throne  of  S.  Peter.  The 
innocence  of  his  life,  and  the  vigour  of  his  understanding, 
were  accompanied  by  a  natural  kindliness  which  fascinated 
all  with  whom  he  was  brought  in  contact  He  was  conse- 
crated on  November  19th,  741,  nine  days  after  the  death  of 
his  predecessor,  and  nine  days  before  his  interment.  Re- 
solved to  expose  himself  to  everything  for  the  sake  of  his 
people,  Zacharias  sent  a  nuncio  to  king  Luitprand  with  a 
letter  overflowing  with  expressions  of  courtesy  and  respect, 
which  so  touched  the  barbarian,  that  he  gave  token  ot 
being  disposed  to  negotiate  with  the  new  pontiff.  Zacharias 
knew  how  to  profit  by  the  opportunity ;  he  went,  accom- 
panied by  many  of  his  clergy,  to  Terni,  in  Umbria,  and  met 
king  Luitprand,  who  received  him  with  the  utmost  courtesy. 
He  concluded  a  treaty  with  him,  released  his  prisoners, 
recovered  to  the  Holy  See  the  towns  that  had  been  taken, 
and  on  the  morrow  assisted  at  the  ordination  of  a  bishop 
for  Terni,  which  took  place  in  the  Church  of  S.  Valentine. 
The  ceremony  produced  a  lively  effect  upon  the  Lombards, 
many  of  whom  wept.  After  the  ordination,  the  pope 
invited  the  barbarian  prince  to  dinner,  and  gave  him  his 
blessing;  Luitprand  is  reported  to  have  observed  that  he 
had  never  enjoyed  a  dinner  so  much. 

Zacharias  was  afterwards  the  means  of  procuring  peace 
for  many  of  the  distressed  states  and  cities  of  Northern 
Italy.  Luitprand  was  succeeded  by  Hildebrand,  who  only 
reigned  seven  months ;  and  the  Lombard  throne  was  then 
filled  by  Rachis,  duke  of  Forli,  who  concluded  a  peace  of 
twenty  years  with  all  Italy. 



270  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ij. 

Zacharias  now  turned  his  attention  to  the  discipline  of 
the  Church,  which  had  become  much  relaxed  by  the  troubles 
that  had  fallen  on  the  land.  He  encouraged  S.  Boniface 
in  his  mission  to  Germany.  In  the  East  he  laboured  to 
soften  the  violence  of  the  emperor  Constantine  Copronymus, 
who  opposed  sacred  images  and  pictures  in  churches. 

Pepin,  mayor  of  the  palace,  who  was  master  of  France, 
under  the  shadow  and  name  of  Child  eric  III.,  sent  Bur- 
chard,  bishop  of  Wurtzburg,  and  Fulrad,  abbot  of  S.  Denys, 
to  Zacharias  to  consult  him  on  the  accomplishment  of  his 
ambition,  the  assumption  for  himself  of  the  crown  of  France 
from  the  heads  of  the  "Faineant"  race.  Zacharias,  who 
desired  help  and  protection  agakist  the  Lombards,  not 
content  with  approving  his  design,  wrote  secretly  to  Pepin 
urging  him  not  to  refuse  the  crown  which  Providence  ex- 
tended to  him ;  at  the  same  time  his  more  cautiously 
worded  epistle  to  the  Frank  nobles  on  the  subject  did  not 
a  little  serve  towards  determining  them  to  place  the  sover- 
eignty in  the  bold,  firm  hand  of  the  mayor.  For,  without 
recommending  the  deposition  of  Childeric,  or  the  election 
of  Pepin,  Zacharias  urged  that  "  he  who  had  the  power  in 
fact  ought  to  be  the  king."  This  was  enough  for  Pepin. 
Every  one  considered  this  expression  to  be  an  approval  of 
the  design  ;  the  election  of  Pepin  was  regarded  as  approved 
by  heaven ;  and  he  was  crowned  at  Soissons  the  year 
following,  by  Boniface,  archbishop  of  Mentz.  This 
coronation  took  place  on  May  1st ;  Zacharias  did  not  live 
to  see  it,  for  he  died  on  the  preceding  March  3rd.  The 
day  of  his  burial  in  the  Church  of  S.  Peter,  March  15  th,  is 
that  on  which  the  Church  honours  his  memory. 


March i6]         .S^S".  Hilary ;  Tatian,  Cfc.  271 

March  16. 

SS.  Hilary,  B.M.,  Tatian,  D.M.,  Felix,  Larqus  and  DiONVirj^ 

MM.  at  Aquileja,  a.d.  285. 
S.  Julian  or    Anazarbus,    M.  in  Cilicia. 
S.   Papas,  M.  in  Lycaonia,  circ.  a.d.  300. 
S.  Agapitus,  B.  of  Ravenna,  circ.  a.d.  340. 
S.  Columba,  V.M.  in  England. 
S.  Aninas,  H.  on  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates. 
S.  Hesychius,  B.  of  Fienne,  in  France,  &th  cent, 
SS.  Abraham,  H.,  and  Mary,  P.,  his  niece,  in  Syria,  6th  cent. 
S.  Fixan  the  Leper,  Ab.  of  Iniffathlen,  in  Ireland,  circ.  a.d.  610. 
S.  Boniface  Quiritine,  B.  of  Ross,  in  Scotland  7/A  cent. 
S.   Eusebia,  Abss.  of  Hamage,  circ.  a.d.  680. 

S.  Gregory  the  Armenian,  B.H.  at  Pluviets,  in  Prance,  nth  cent. 
S.  Heribert,  Archb.  of  Cologne,  A.D.  1021. 

SS.  HILARY,  B.  M.,  TATIAN,  D.  M.,   AND 

(a.d.  285.) 

[Roman  Martyrology  and  that  of  Usuardus.  Notker  mentions  Hilarj 
alone.  Hilary  and  Tatian  in  that  of  Bede,  and  some  copies  of  that  ol 
S.  Jerome.     Authority  : — the  Acts  which  are  genuine. J 

[AINT  HILARY,  bishop  of  Aquileja,  in  Northern 
Italy,  had  a  deacon  named  Tatian,  whom  he 
appointed  to  be  his  archdeacon.  In  the  reign 
of  Numerian,  during  which  they  flourished, 
there  was  at  Aquileja  a  heathen  priest,  named  Monofantus, 
who  went  before  the  governor  Beronius,  and  obtained  from 
him  authority  to  hale  the  bishop  before  his  tribunal.  Then 
Monofantus  went  to  the  house  of  Hilary,  and  found  him 
engaged  in  reading,  together  with  his  deacon  Tatian.  He 
said,  "The  Governor  wants  you."  Hilary  said,  "What  is 
that  you  say,  friend  ?"  "  I  have  already  said  once,  the 
governor  wants  you."  S.  Hilary  answered,  "  We  will  go  in 
the  Name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ"     And  when  they  had 


272  Lives  of  the  Saints.  March  X6. 

come  to  the  place  of  judgment,  and  the  governor  saw 
Hilary  enter  with  a  smiling  countenance,  he  asked,  "  What 
is  thy  name  ?"  The  bishop  answered,  "  My  name  is  Hilary, 
and  I  am  bishop  of  the  Christians  here."  "  Well,"  said  the 
governor,  "the  command  has  gone  forth  that  all  are  to 
sacrifice  to  the  immortal  gods.  Therefore  be  speedy,  obey, 
and  go  thy  way."  S.  Hilary  replied,  "  From  my  childhood 
I  have  learnt  to  sacrifice  to  the  living  God,  and  to  worship 
Jesus  Christ  with  pure  heart;  I  cannot  worship  demons." 
The  governor  said,  "Christ,  whom  thou  sayest  that  thou 
worshippest,  was  crucified  by  the  Jews."  Hilary  replied, 
"  If  thou  knewest  the  virtue  of  His  cross,  thou  wouldest 
leave  the  error  of  idols,  and  adore  Him  who  would  heal  the 
wounds  of  thy  soul."  "  Come,"  exclaimed  the  governor, 
"  do  as  I  bid,  or  I  will  have  thy  tongue  cut  out"  "  Sir," 
answered  the  bishop,  "do  so,  instead  of  threatening  me." 
Then  Beronius  had  him  drawn  into  the  temple  of  Hercules, 
and  beaten  with  rods.  And  as  Hilary  constantly  refused  to 
adore  the  idols,  the  governor  ordered  his  back  to  be  burnt 
with  red  hot  coals,  then  the  raws  to  be  rubbed  with  coarse 
hair-cloth,  and  vinegar  and  salt  to  be  poured  into  the 
wounds.  After  which  he  was  taken  and  cast  into  prison. 
Tatian,  the  deacon,  was  next  brought  up  to  be  tried,  he  was 
sentenced  to  be  beaten,  and  thrown  into  prison  with  his 
bishop.  And  during  the  night  they  prayed,  and  sang 
praises  to  God,  the  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth ;  and  as  they 
prayed  there  was  an  earthquake,  and  the  temple  of  Hercules 
was  shaken  down. 

Then,  on  the  morrow,  Hilary  the  bishop,  and  Tatian  the 
deacon,  and  Felix,  Largus  and  Dionysius,  three  Christians 
then  in  the  prison,  were  slain  by  order  of  Beronius,  some  of 
them  by  having  their  heads  smitten  off,  and  some  by  having 
swords  thrust  through  their  breasts. 

*— — _ jj, 

March  16.]         S.  Julian  of  Anazarbus.  273 

(date  uncertain.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Greek  Menology  of  Basil  Porphyrogenitus,  same 
day.  Authority  : — A  sermon  by  S.  John  Chrysostom,  Horn,  xlvii,  and  the 
notices  in  the  Menologium  and  Menaea.] 

This  saint  was  a  native  of  Cilicia,  the  same  province 
which  had  the  honour  of  producing  S.  Paul.  In  one  of  the 
persecutions  of  the  Church  he  was  sentenced  to  be  tied  up 
in  a  sack  with  vipers  and  scorpions,  and  thrown  into  the 

S.  PAPAS,  M. 

(ABOUT    A.D.    3OO.) 

[Roman  Martyrology  and  Greek  Menaea.  Authority  : — The  hymn  in  the 

S.  Papas  suffered  in  Lycaonia  during  the  persecution  of 
Maximian.  He  was  first  beaten,  and  his  cheeks  bruised, 
and  then  the  inhuman  persecutors,  to  make  sport,  nailed 
horse-shoes  to  his  feet,  and  made  him  run  before  chariots 
through  the  streets  of  Laranda,  the  drivers,  armed  with 
whips,  lashing  him  till  he  sank,  bleeding  and  exhausted, 
on  the  pavement.  A  compassionate  woman,  like  another 
Veronica,  hastened  up  to  wipe  away  the  blood  and  sweat, 
and  he  died  in  her  arms. 

vol.  in.  18 


274  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  X6. 

S.  COLUMBA,  V.  M. 
(date  unknown.) 

[Anglican  Martyrology.  There  are  two  other  saints  of  this  name,  virgins 
and  martyrs,  one  at  Sens,  the  other  at  Cordova.  The  Columba  of  Sens  is 
commemorated  on  Dec.  31st,  and  is  very  famous;  she  suffered  under  Aure- 
lian.  The  Cordovan  saint  gained  the  palm  in  the  Moorish  persecution  in 
891,  and  is  commemorated  on  Sept.  17th,] 

The  great  glory  of  the  virgin  martyr,  Columba  of  Sens, 
has  eclipsed  the  fame  ©f  the  other  two  saintly  virgin  martyrs 
of  this  name.  Of  the  S.  Columba  venerated  in  Cornwall 
on  this  day,  nothing  is  known. 

S.  ANINAS,  H. 
(date  unknown.) 

[Greek  Menaea.    This  saint  is  commemorated  by  the  Greeks  on  different 


This  hermit,  called  variously  Aninas  and  Ananias,  lived 
in  the  flat  deserts  of  the  Euphrates,  in  a  cave,  with  two  lions, 
out  of  the  foot  of  one  of  which  he  had  drawn  a  thorn 
which  hurt  it.  The  lions  followed  him  whenever  he  went 
to  the  Euphrates,  distant  four  or  five  miles,  to  draw  water. 
This  he  was  obliged  to  do  daily,  and  the  bishop  of  Caesarea, 
hearing  of  this,  sent  him  the  present  of  an  ass  to  carry  the 
water  jars  for  him  ;  but  Aninas  would  not  keep  the  ass,  but 
gave  it  to  some  poor  folk  who  were  destitute. 

Now  there  was  a  hermit  who  lived  on  a  pillar  in  the  same 
country,  and  Aninas  heard  that  he  was  sore  troubled  in 
mind ;  then,  the  story  goes,  he  wrote  a  letter  comforting 
him,  and  sent  it  to  him  by  one  of  his  lions.  Aninas  died  on 
March  16th,  at  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  ten. 



March  .6.]  ,££  Abraham  &  Mary.  275 

(6th  cent.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  inserted  by  Baronius,  after  Molanus  ;  but  the 
Greeks  venerate  these  saints  on  October  29th.  Authority  : — The  Life  of 
SS.  Abraham  and  Mary,  by  Ephraem,  the  companion  of  Abraham,  but 
not,  as  has  been  commonly  stated,  S.  Ephraem  Syrus.] 

Abraham  was  the  son  of  very  wealthy  parents  at  Chid- 
ama,  in  Mesopotamia,  near  the  city  of  Edessa.  His  father 
sought  a  young  and  beautiful  girl  in  marriage  for  his  son, 
and  Abraham  was  married  to  her  with  all  the  pomp  befitting 
the  splendour  of  the  rank  and  wealth  and  the  family.  The 
young  man  had  now  tasted  all  that  the  world  could  give, 
riches,  honour,  and  love,  and  his  heart  was  still  void  and 
craving  for  something  more.  Then  he  felt,  with  a  conviction 
it  was  impossible  to  resist,  that  God  alone  could  fill  that 
void,  and  that  satisfaction  could  alone  be  found  in  serving 
Him  most  perfectly.  So,  secretly  in  the  night,  seven  days 
after  his  marriage,  he  escaped,  and  hid  himself  in  the 

His  parents,  who  had  refused  him  nothing  for  which  he 
had  expressed  a  wish,  his  wife,  who  had  given  him  no  occa- 
sion of  offence,  were  in  amazement.  They  searched  for 
him  everywhere,  and  at  the  end  of  seventeen  days  discovered 
him  in  the  desert,  resolved  to  live  alone.  It  was  in  vain 
that  parents  and  bride  urged  him  to  return ;  he  was  inex- 
orable, and  they  were  obliged  to  leave  him  in  his  solitude. 
He  had  found  a  small  hut,  and  now  he  walled  up  the  door, 
leaving  only  a  window,  through  which  bread  and  water 
could  be  passed  in  to  him  by  a  friend.  He  had  spent  ten 
or  twelve  years  in  this  retreat  when  his  parents  died,  and 
left  their  immense  property  to  him.  He  entrusted  it  to  the 
care  of  his  most  intimate  friends,  to  be  used  for  relieving  the 
necessities  of  the  poor. 


276  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  16. 

Now  there  was,  not  far  off,  a  village  of  idolaters,  who  had 
stubbornly  resisted  every  missionary  effort  made  to  convert 
them.  The  bishop  of  Edessa  bethought  him  of  Abraham 
the  hermit,  visited  him  in  person,  and  insisted  on  his 
coming  forth  and  preaching  to  these  heathen.  In  vain  did 
the  hermit  implore  to  be  permitted  to  remain  in  his  dear 
solitude :  the  bishop  put  the  matter  on  his  obedience, 
brought  him  forth,  ordained  him  priest,  and  sent  him 
amongst  the  pagans.  Abraham  then  built  a  church  in  their 
midst,  and  finding  that  they  were  deaf  to  his  exhortations, 
he  spent  his  nights  and  days  in  tearful  intercession  for  them, 
and  then,  armed  with  zeal,  he  rushed  upon  their  idols  and 
overthrew  them.  A  mob  at  once  assembled,  and  he  was 
beaten  till  he  could  not  move  ;  and  whenever  he  appeared 
in  the  streets,  he  was  assailed  with  sticks  and  stones.  Unde- 
terred by  this  opposition,  Abraham  continued  instant  in 
prayer;  and,  after  three  years,  saw  the  tide  of  popular 
opinion  turn,  and  the  villagers  who  had  treated  him  so  ill, 
now  venerated  him  as  an  apostle  of  the  truth.  Abraham 
tarried  with  them  another  year,  to  confirm  them  in  the  faith, 
then  commended  them  to  the  supervision  of  the  bishop, 
and  returned  to  his  cell.  Now  it  happened  that  a  little  girl, 
named  Mary,  the  niece  of  Abraham,  had  been  left  an  orphan, 
and  she  was  brought  to  the  hermit,  as  her  sole  relative,  to 
educate.  She  was  aged  seven.  Abraham  bade  a  cell  be 
built  for  her  near  his  own,  and  there  the  child  grew  up  under 
his  supervision  till  she  was  twenty,  when  a  young  man,  hav- 
ing conceived  a  violent  passion  for  her,  led  her  away,  and 
then  abandoning  her,  the  unfortunate  girl  fell  deeper  into 
degradation,  and  became  a  common  harlot  in  the  city  of 
Assos,  in  the  Troad.  Her  the  uncle  had  bewailed  her  fall  with 
the  deepest  grief,  and  had  instituted  inquiries  as  to  her 
whereabouts.  Hearing  that  she  was  at  Assos,  Araham  broke 
down  the  wall  which  closed  his  door,  and  came  forth,  cast 

»£t _ >£t 

— * 

March i6.]  .SVS*.  Abraham  &  Mary.  277 

off  his  habit  and  sackcloth,  and  disguising  himself  as  a 
soldier,  went  to  Assos.  And  when  he  came  there,  he  hired 
a  lodging  next  door  to  the  house  of  ill-fame  where  dwelt  his 
niece,  and  he  sought  opportunity  to  meet  and  speak  with 
her,  but  could  not  Then  he  went  to  the  house,  and  ordered 
supper,  and  bade  that  Mary  should  eat  with  him.  So  she, 
knowing  him  not,  lost  to  shame,  came,  tricked  out  with 
necklaces  and  rings,  in  gaudy  wanton  dress.  Then  Abra- 
ham reddened  with  grief,  and  could  ill  restrain  his  tears. 
But  making  an  effort,  he  controlled  his  emotion.  So  they 
sat  down,  and  ate,  and  drank,  and  she  laughed  noisily,  and 
talked  in  a  light  and  wanton  way  ;  and  as  she  spake  the  sha- 
dow on  Abraham's  brow  deepened,  the  corners  of  his  mouth 
quivered  with  pain,  and  a  film  formed  on  his  eyes.  Then 
the  girl  kissed  him,  and  looked  at  him,  and  suddenly  saw  in 
the  grave,  suffering  face  before  her,  something  that  recalled 
past  days,  and  she  moaned.  The  man  of  the  house  hearing 
this,  said,  "  Mary,  what  is  the  matter  with  thee  ?  These  two 
years  that  thou  hast  been  with  me  thou  hast  been  ever  gay." 
But  she  looked  up  again,  and  met  the  tearful  eyes  of  Abra- 
ham ;  then  she  cried  out,  "  Oh,  God !  would  that  I  had 
died  three  years  ago.  This  man  recalls  to  me  my  dear  old 
uncle  in  the  desert,  and  days  of  innocence  and  pure  joy." 
Then  Abraham  put  the  man  forth,  and  locked  the  door,  and 
turning,  threw  back  his  hood,  and  caught  Mary  by  both 
hands,  and  looked  at  her  and  said,  "  Mary,  my  child  !" 
Then  she  knew  him,  and  became  cold  and  motionless  as  a 
stone.  And  he  said,  "  My  dearest  child,  what  has  befallen 
thee?  How  hast  thou  sunk  from  heaven  in  the  abyss  1  O 
why  didst  thou  not  disclose  to  me  thy  first  temptation,  and 
I  and  Ephraem  would  have  besieged  heaven  with  tears  and 
prayers  to  save  thee?  Why  didst  thou  desert  me  like  this, 
and  bring  this  intolerable  anguish  of  soul  upon  me  ?"  But 
she,  frightened  and  trembling,  answered  not  a  word.       And 

* * 

278  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  16. 

he,  holding  her  hands  fast  in  his  own,  said  again,  "  My  own 
Mary,  wilt  thou  not  speak  to  me  ?"  Then  his  tears  burst 
forth,  and  the  whole  man  was  shaken  with  sobs.  "  Upon 
me  be  thy  sin,  my  child,"  he  said  ;  "  I  will  answer  for  it  at 
the  Judgment  day  to  God.  I  will  do  penance  and  suffer  in 
expiation  of  thy  crime ;  only  return,  my  child  I"  Then  she 
burst  forth  with,  "  I  cannot  look  thee  in  the  face,  uncle,  and 
how  can  I  call  on  God,  whom  I  have  so  outraged?"  "I 
will  bear  the  burden  of  the  sin,  let  it  weigh  on  me,  Mary," 
said  the  hermit  vehemently ;  "  only  return  to  the  old  place, 
and  dear  Ephraem  and  I  will  pray  instantly  to  God  for  thee. 
Come  child,  follow  me."  Then  she  fell  down,  and  laid  her 
brow  on  his  feet,  and  sobbed,  and  held  them,  and  kissed 
them,  and  stammered,  "  I  will  follow  thee,  uncle.  What 
reward  shall  I  give  unto  the  Lord  for  all  the  benefits  He  has 
done  unto  me  ?"  But  he  caught  her  up,  and  would  not  suffer 
her  thus  to  lie.  And  she  fell  again  and  kissed  the  ground 
he  had  trodden,  bringing  her  hopes  of  pardon  and  salvation. 
And  he  urged  her  to  fly  at  once.  Then  she  said,  "  Uncle,  I 
have  here  some  valuable  trinkets,  and  some  dresses.  What 
shall  I  do  with  them  ?  Shall  I  not  pack  them  up  and  carry 
them  with  me  ?"  But  he  cried  out,  "  Leave  them,  leave 
them,  they  scent  of  evil."  And  he  took  her  on  his  back,  as 
a  shepherd  carrying  his  strayed  sheep,  and  unlocked  the 
door,  and  ran  out.  And  when  he  came  to  his  hut,  he  set 
Mary  in  the  inner  cell,  and  went  into  the  outer  room  him- 
self. And  she,  bitterly  repenting  the  past,  served  God 
instantly,  night  and  day,  with  tears.  Abraham  lived  ten 
years  longer,  and  rejoiced  to  behold  the  sincerity  of  his 
niece's  contrition,  and  died  at  the  age  of  seventy,  in  the 
fiftieth  year  of  his  solitary  life ;  and  Mary  lived  five  years 
after  her  uncle's  death.  God  wrought  miracles  of  healing 
by  her  hands,  to  comfort  the  penitent  soul,  and  assure  her 
that  her  tears  had  blotted  out  her  transgression. 

>b . %, 


March  i6.]         ^  Boniface  Quiritine,  &c.  279 


(7TH   CENT.) 

[Aberdeen  Breviary.  Authorities : — David  Camcrarius  and  Hector  Boece, 
and  the  lections  in  the  Aberdeen  Breviary.] 

Alban  Quiritine,  or  Kiritine,  surnamed  Boniface,  is 
fabulously  said  to  have  been  of  Israelite  race,  and  a  descend- 
ant of  Radia,  sister  of  the  apostles  Peter  and  Andrew.  All 
that  is  known  of  him  is  that  he  was  bishop  of  Ross,  in 
Scotland,  and  that  he  laboured  to  suppress  the  Keltic  ritual 
and  to  establish  Roman  uniformity,  doing  in  Scotland  the 
work  accomplished  by  S.  Wilfrid  in  Northumbria.  He 
preached  to  and  converted  large  numbers  of  Picts  and  Scots? 
during  sixty  years  of  evangelical  labours.  It  is  said  that  as 
many  as  thirty-six  thousand  received  the  faith  through  him, 
and  that  he  built  a  hundred  and  fifty  churches,  amongst 
others,  that  of  S.  Peter,  at  Rosmarkyn,  in  which  he  was 
buried  before  the  altar. 

(about  a.d.  680.) 

[Molanus,  Wyon,  Menardus,  Miraeus  in  his  *  Belgian  Saints,'  and  Saus- 
saye  in  his  Gallican  Martyrology.  Authority  : — A  life,  probably  by 
Hucbald  of  Elnone  (907),  derived  from  various  earlier  accounts  and  tradi- 

S.  Eusebia  was  the  eldest  daughter  of  S.  Adalbald,  of 
Douai  (Feb.  2nd)  and  S.  Richtrudis.  Probably  on  the  occa- 
sion of  the  assassination  of  her  father,  she  was  sent  to  the 
convent  of  Hamage,  which  was  governed  by  her  grandmother, 
S.  Gertrude.  On  the  death  of  S.  Gertrude,  Eusebia,  at  the 
age  of  twelve,  was  elected  abbess  of  Hamage,  according  to 
a  custom  of  the  time,  which  required  abbesses,  if  possible, 

280  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  X6. 

to  be  of  noble  birth,  so  as  to  secure  for  the  convent  protec- 
tion from  powerful  families  in  times  of  difficulty  or  war. 
But  S.  Richtrudis,  who  had  become  abbess  of  Marchiennes, 
thinking  that  the  girl  was  far  too  young  to  manage  the  com- 
munity, and  that  under  her  light  hand  grave  disorders  might 
prevail,  peremptorily  ordered  Eusebia  to  come  with  all  her 
nuns  to  Marchiennes.  Eusebia  hesitated,  but  when  the 
orders  were  repeated,  she  reluctantly  obeyed,  and  with  all 
the  community,  bearing  the  body  of  S.  Gertrude,  she  came 
to  Marchiennes,  where  they  were  received  by  a  procession 
with  lights  and  incense.  Eusebia  was  not  happy  in  her  new 
home,  and  sighed  for  Hamage.  During  the  night,  when 
every  one  slept,  she  was  wont  to  steal  out,  barefooted,  and 
run  to  the  deserted  convent,  to  watch  and  pray  over  the 
home  of  her  infancy,  fragrant  with  memories  of  a  beloved 
guide  and  spiritual  mother.  Richtrudis,  hearing  of  these 
nocturnal  excursions,  and  not  approving  of  them,  ordered 
the  child-abbess  a  sound  flogging,  and  asked  her  brother 
Maurontius  to  administer  it.  Eusebia  writhed  and  danced 
about  under  the  correction,  to  elude  the  blows,  and  in  so 
doing  ran  against  the  point  of  the  sword  of  Maurontius,  which 
slightly  wounded  her  side.  According  to  a  popular  legend, 
which  the  historian  records  merely  as  such,  one  of  the  twigs  of 
the  birch  with  which  Eusebia  was  corrected,  rooted  itself  on 
the  spot  where  it  had  fallen,  and  grew  up  into  a  stately  tree. 

Richtrudis,  seeing  that  her  child  continued  bent  on  re- 
turning to  Hamage,  consulted  the  bishop,  who  advised  her 
to  yield.  Accordingly  Eusebia  and  her  community  went  back 
to  the  deserted  convent,  and  she  governed  it  with  prudence, 
living  in  piety,  till  the  day  of  her  death.  She  was  buried  in 
the  church  of  the  Apostles,  at  Hamage ;  but  the  body  was 
afterwards  translated  to  Marchiennes. 

In  Belgium  she  is  called  S.  Isoie,  or  Eusoye. 


March  16.]  ,5".  Heribert.  28 1 

(a.d.    1021.) 

[German  Martyrologies.  At  Cologne  the  festival  of  his  translation  is 
observed  on  August  30th.  Authority: — A  Life,  by  Lambert  of  Deutz, 
written  twenty  years  after  the  death  of  Heribert.] 

Heribert  was  born  at  Worms.  His  father  was  a  gentle- 
man of  rank.  His  mother  had  been  carried  off  into  cap- 
tivity by  the  Huns,  and  had  been  sold  to  an  honest  and 
good  man,  who  restored  her  to  her  parents.  She  was  grand- 
daughter of  Reginbald,  count  of  Swabia.  Heribert  was 
educated  in  the  abbey  of  Gorze,  in  Lorraine,  in  the  diocese 
of  Metz.  His  father  having  recalled  him  to  Worms,  the 
archbishop  Hildebald  was  so  pleased  with  the  young  man, 
that  he  made  him  dean  of  his  cathedral,  and  destined  him 
to  become  his  successor,  but  his  death  before  Heribert  had 
sufficiently  established  his  reputation  prevented  the  fulfil- 
ment of  this  design.  Some  years  after,  Otho  III.,  who  had 
not  as  yet  received  the  imperial  crown,  having  been  informed 
of  the  merit  of  Heribert,  made  him  his  chancellor,  and  per- 
ceiving his  great  virtue,  obtained  his  ordination.  Shortly 
after,  the  archdiocese  of  Cologne  became  vacant,  and  this 
gave  rise  to  party  contests,  productive  of  schism  in  that 
Church.  The  contest  was  brought  to  a  conclusion  by  an 
almost  unanimous  election  of  the  chancellor  Heribert.  He 
received  notice  of  his  having  been  chosen,  with  great  regret, 
and  on  his  induction,  on  Christmas-eve,  walked  barefoot  to 
the  cathedral.  His  reign  was  a  true  blessing  to  the  diocese, 
through  his  wise  regulations  for  the  maintenance  of  discip- 
line among  the  clergy,  and  for  the  systematic  relief  of  the 
necessitious.  He  built  and  endowed  the  abbey  of  Deutz, 
on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  Rhine  to  Cologne ;  he  rebuilt 
the  church  of  the  Apostles,  at  Cologne,  and  the  chapel  of 
S.  Stephen.     In  a  time  of  great  drought,  when  the  country 





Lives  of  tke  Saints. 

[March  16, 

was  suffering  great  distress,  and  the  cattle  of  the  poor  were 
perishing,  he  went  in  procession  to  the  church  of  S.  Severi- 
nus,  and  kneeling  before  the  altar,  bowed  his  head  on  his 
hands,  and  weeping  for  the  misfortunes  of  his  people,  did 
not  raise  his  head  till  a  thunderstorn  broke  over  the  church. 

From  a  painting  by  Q.  Matsys. 



55     ha 

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O      Oh 


72      O 

s  £ 






March  I?.]  S.  Joseph  of  Arimathea.  283 

March  17. 

S.  Joseph  of  Arimathjsa,  \st  cent. 

SS.  Alexander,  B.M.,  and  Companions,  MM.  at  Rome. 

SS.  Martyrs  in  the  temple  of  Serapit  at  Alexandria,  a.d.  390. 

S.  Aoricola,  B.  at  Chalons-iur-Saone,  a.d.  580. 

S.  Patrick,  B.  Apostle  of  Ireland,  a.d.  465. 

S.  Gertrude,  V.  Abss.  of  Nivelles,  in  Brabant,  a.d.  664. 

S.  Withburoa,  V.  at  Dereham  and  Ely,  a.d.  743. 

S.  Paul,  M.  in  Cyprus,  circ.  a.d.  700. 


(1ST   CENT.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  inserted  by  Baronius,  because  observed  as  a 
double  by  the  Canons  of  the  Vatican,  who  possess  an  arm  of  the  saint.  In 
Liege,  where  other  relics  are  preserved,  on  Feb.  22nd ;  by  the  Greeks  on 
July  31st.] 

flHEN  Christ  came  into  the  world,  one  Joseph 
took  Him  into  his  arms  and  cherished  Him  in 
His  infancy;  another  Joseph  received  Him 
when  He  was  dead,  and  ministered  to  His  in- 
animate body.  Joseph,  a  native  of  Arimathaea,  said  by  S. 
Matthew  to  have  been  rich,  and  called  by  S.  Mark  a 
counsellor,  appears  to  have  lived  in  Jerusalem,  where  he 
possessed  a  garden.  According  to  S.  John,  he  was  a  dis- 
ciple in  secret  of  the  Son  of  God ;  that  he  was  a  just  man, 
we  are  told  by  S.  Luke.  After  the  Crucifixion  he  cast  aside 
the  fears  which  had  restrained  him  from  professing  openly 
his  conviction,  and  going  boldly  to  Pilate,  he  craved  of  him 
the  body  of  Jesus.  He  then  bought  the  winding  sheet, 
and  going  to  Calvary,  detached  from  the  Cross  the  dead 
body  of  Christ,  assisted  by  S.  John  the  Evangelist,  S.  Mary 
Magdalene,  and  Mary  the  wife  of  Cleopas.  Joseph  and 
Nicodemus  anointed  the  body  with  myrrh  and  aloes,  and 
laid  it  in  the  sepulchre  of  Joseph. 

284  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  17. 

Many  strange  traditions  have  attached  themselves  to 
Joseph  of  Arimathaea,  as  that  he  came  to  Britain,  and 
planted  his  staff  at  Glastonbury ;  but  as  these  legends  are 
wholly  worthless,  they  must  be  here  passed  over. 

His  body  is  said  to  have  been  buried  by  Fortunatus, 
patriarch  of  Grado,  in  the  abbey  of  Moyen-Moutier ;  but 
no  relics  of  it  now  remain  there,  though  some  are  shown 

(a.d.  390.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authorities  : — Socrates,  Hist.  Eccl.  lib.  v.  c.  16; 
Sozomen,  lib.  vii.  c.  15.] 

The  temple  of  Bacchus  at  Alexandria  having  been 
given  to  the  Christians  to  be  converted  into  a  church,  the 
patriarch  ordered  its  thorough  purification.  Whilst  this  was 
being  performed,  many  abominations  and  much  evidence  of 
trickery  were  brought  to  light  This  so  exasperated  the 
pagans  that  a  sedition  broke  out,  and  rushing  down  from 
the  Serapion,  a  magnificent  temple  situated  on  a  hill  and 
fortified,  they  carried  off  a  number  of  Christians,  and  bring- 
ing them  into  the  temple,  endeavoured  to  force  them  to 
sacrifice  to  Serapis.  As  they  refused,  the  pagans  crucified 
some,  broke  the  bones  of  others,  and  put  others  to  death  in 
various  ways.  When  the  emperor  Theodosius  heard  of  the 
tumult,  he  ordered  those  who  had  fallen  victims  to  be 
enrolled  in  the  number  of  the  blessed,  but  forbade  any 
reprisals  upon  their  executioners,  hoping  that  this  exhibition 
of  mercy  would  be  efficacious  in  attracting  them  to  the  true 
faith.  He,  however,  ordered  the  Serapion  to  be  levelled 
with  the  dust. 


March  17.]  .S*.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  285 


(A.D.    580.) 

[Roman  and  Gallican  Martyrologies.  Authority : — His  contemporary, 
Gregory  of  Tours.] 

S.  Agricola  was  born  of  a  senatorial  family.  In  stature 
he  was  diminutive,  but  the  greatness  of  his  soul  redeemed 
him  from  that  disrespect  which  his  short  stature  might  have 
brought  upon  him.  He  was  eloquent,  of  refined  manners, 
prudent  in  judgment.  In  his  youth  he  formed  a  warm 
attachment  for  S.  Venantius  Fortunatus,  the  Christian  poet, 
and  author  of  the  magnificent  hymn,  Vexilla  regis,  "The 
royal  banners  forward  go."  In  532,  he  was  appointed 
bishop  of  Chalons-sur-Saone.  He  died  at  the  age  of 
eighty-three,  in  the  year  580,  and  was  buried  in  the  Church 
of  S.  Marcellus,  near  Chalons,  where  his  relics  are  pre- 
served over  the  high  altar. 


(about  a.d.  465.) 

[Roman,  and  almost  all  Western  Martyrologies,  Bede,  Usuardus,  Ado, 
&c.  Authorities : — The  most  authentic  are  S.  Patrick's  Confession,  and 
his  letter  against  Coroticus,  Fiech's  hymn,  or  metrical  sketch  of  the  life  of 
the  saint,  and  the  life  by  Probus.  The  hymn  is  attributed  to  Fiech,  bishop 
of  Sletty,  who  lived  in  the  5th  cent.  The  Bollandists  and  other  critics  doubt 
his  having  been  the  author  of  it  ;  but  at  any  rate  it  is  very  ancient,  and  not 
later  than  the  7th,  or  perhaps  the  6th  cent.  Probus  is  supposed  to  have 
been  teacher  of  a  school  at  Slane,  who  was  burnt  in  a  tower  fired  by  the 
Danes,  in  950.  There  is  also  a  hymn  attributed  to  Secundinus,  one  of 
S.  Patrick's  first  companions,  in  which  the  saint  is  spoken  of  as  still  living. 
A  very  interesting  document,  of  the  early  part  of  the  7th  cent,  is  a  litany  in 
Anglo-Saxon  characters,  published  by  Mabillon,  in  which  S.  Patrick  is 
invoked.  The  Antiphonarium  Benchorense,  apparently  of  the  8th  cent., 
contains  a  hymn  in  honour  of  S.  Patrick.  There  exist  some  notes  or 
scholia  on  Fiech's  metrical  life,    which  are  usually  quoted  under  the  title  ol 

_ * 

286  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i». 

Fiech's  Scholiast.  They  were  written  partly  in  Irish,  and  partly  in  Latin. 
These  notes  are  of  various  dates,  and  by  different  hands,  and  consequently 
of  very  different  values.  Colgan  gives  some  lives,  which  he  calls  the 
second,  third,  and  fourth,  but  these  are  full  of  fables,  and  seem  to  have 
been  copied  either  from  each  other,  or  from  some  common  original.  Here 
and  there  they  contain  facts,  but  these  are  smothered  in  fable.  Colgan  is 
utterly  wrong  in  assigning  to  them  a  high  antiquity.  The  Tripartite  Life, 
so  called  because  it  is  divided  into  three  parts,  is  published  by  Colgan,  and 
attributed  by  him  wrongly  to  S.  Evin,  who  lived  in  the  6th  cent.  This 
work,  though  founded  on  older  lives,  was  really  put  together  in  the  ioth 
century,  as  certain  persons  are  named  in  it  who  lived  about  that  period.  With 
the  exception  of  certain  fables  it  contains,  it  is  a  very  useful  work,  and 
contains  a  much  greater  variety  of  details  concerning  the  proceedings  of 
S.  Patrick  during  his  mission  in  Ireland  than  any  other  of  his  lives.  It  is 
not  to  be  confounded  with  a  Latin  work  quoted  by  Usher  under  the  same 
title,  and  which  belongs  to  a  later  period.  Of  all  the  lives  of  S.  Patrick  this 
is  the  worst,  though  it  has  been  published  oftener  than  the  others.  "  So 
wretched  a  composition  is  scarcely  worth  attending  to,"  says  Dr.  Lanigan. 
Another  authority  is  Jocelin  of  Furness,  who  flourished  about  1185,  and 
compiled  S.  Patrick's  life  at  the  request  of  Thomas,  archbishop  of  Armagh, 
Malachias  (another  Irish  prelate)  and  John  de  Courcy,  the  conqueror  of 
Ulster.  It  is  of  little  historical  value  compared  with  the  earlier  and  more 
authentic  soures  of  information,  which  it  not  unfrequently  contradicts  on  the 
authority  of  some  idle  legend.] 

The  precise  time  at  which  Christianity  was  originally 
introduced  into  Ireland  cannot  be  ascertained.  Nor  is  it 
to  be  wondered  at,  that,  while  the  first  establishment  of 
Christian  Churches  in  Britain,  Gaul,  and  Spain,  is  enveloped 
in  obscurity,  a  similar  difficulty  should  meet  those  seeking 
the  origin  of  the  Irish  Church.  Palladius,  according  to 
Prosper,  was  the  first  bishop  sent  from  Rome  to  Ireland. 
He  was  a  deacon  of  the  Roman  Church,  who  had  already 
distinguished  himself  by  his  exertions  in  delivering  Britain 
from  the  Pelagian  heresy.  From  this  and  other  circum- 
stances, it  seems  probable  that  he  was  a  native  of  that 
country.  He  was  consecrated  bishop  and  sent  into  Ireland, 
accompanied  by  some  missionaries,  four  of  whom,  Sylvester, 
Solonius,  Augustine,  and  Benedict,  are  mentioned  by  name 
in  some  of  the  lives  of  S.  Patrick.     It  seems  that  his  arrival 

4* >j, 

March  ij.]  ,5*.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  287 

was  early  in  the  year  431.  The  most  authentic  accounts  of 
his  mission  agree  in  stating  that,  besides  having  baptized 
some  persons,  he  erected  three  churches ;  and  the  news  of 
his  success,  perhaps  magnified  in  its  transit,  excited  such  a 
confident  assurance  in  Rome  of  his  complete  conquest 
of  the  island  to  the  Cross,  that  Prosper  did  not  hesitate  to 
say  that,  through  the  exertion  of  pope  Celestine,  Ireland 
was  become  a  Christian  country.  This  book  "Against 
Cassian,"  was  written  not  long  after  the  mission  of  Palladius, 
and  before  he  had  heard  of  the  reverses  which  that  pioneer 
of  the  Gospel  had  met  with.  The  success  Palladius  had 
met  with  alarmed  the  heathen,  and  he  was  denounced  to 
the  king  of  that  part  of  Ireland  in  which  he  then  was,  as  a 
dangerous  person,  and  he  was  ordered  to  quit  the  country. 
He  sailed  from  Ireland  towards  the  latter  end  of  the  same 
year,  431,  in  which  he  had  landed,  and  arriving  in  Britain, 
died,  not  long  after,  as  is  commonly  reported,  at  Fordun,  in 
the  district  of  Mearns,  in  Scotland. 

The  great  work  of  the  general  conversion  of  the  people 
of  Ireland  was  reserved  for  the  ministry  of  S.  Patrick, 
according  to  the  Irish  adage  that,  "  Not  to  Palladius,  but  to 
Patrick,  did  God  grant  the  conversion  of  Ireland." 

The  variety  of  opinions,  and  the  many  questions  that 
have  been  agitated,  concerning  the  country  and  time  of  the 
birth  of  S.  Patrick,  render  it  necessary  to  clear  up  these 
disputed  points  before  proceeding  with  the  main  story  of  his 
life.  It  would  be  a  waste  of  time  to  examine  all  the  various 
opinions,  that  have  been  started  on  this  subject,  such  as  his 
having  been  bora  in  Cornwall,  in  Pembrokeshire,1  or,  what 
is  strangest  of  all,  in  Ireland  itself.  The  prevalent  opinion 
since  Usher's  time  has  been  that  he  was  born  at  Kilpatrick, 
near  Dumbarton.     Usher  was  led  astray  by  the  scholiast  on 

1  A  Welsh  tradition  claims  S.  Patrick  as  the  son  of  Mawoi  of  Cower,  iu 



288  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i» 

Fiech's  hymn.  Fiech  says  that  S.  Patrick  was  born  at  Nem- 
thur  (the  holy  tower)  in  Britain,  and  the  scholiast  identified 
this  place  with  Alcwith,  now  Dumbarton.  The  scholiast 
guessed  this,  not  knowing  that  the  term  Britain  also  applied  to 
the  whole  of  the  North  of  Gaul,  inhabited  by  the  Armorican 
Gauls.1  Indeed  Probus  calls  S.  Patrick's  country,  and  the 
town  where  his  family  lived,  Arimuric,  or  Armorica.  In  the 
life  of  S.  Fursey,  we  are  told  that  this  saint  crossed  the  sea 
into  the  province  of  Britain,  and  proceeded  through  Pon- 
thieu.  Now  Ponthieu  is  a  maritime  tract  in  Picardy,  near 
Boulogne ;  and  it  is  also  to  be  observed  that  this  district  is 
said  in  the  life  of  S.  Fursey  "  to  be  called  by  the  moderns 
Normandy."  But  S.  Patrick  in  his  confession  says,  "  My 
father  was  Calpurnius,  a  deacon,  son  of  Potitus,  a  priest,  of 
the  town  of  Bonavem  Taberniae.  He  had  near  the  town  a 
small  villa  En  on,  where  I  became  a  captive."  Bonavem 
(Ben-avon,  British,  the  river  headland)  may  possibly  be 
modern  Boulogne-sur-mer,  and  the  district  of  Taberniae  be 
Terouanne,  in  which  it  is  situated.  Boulogne  was  the 
Bonona2  of  the  Romans,  and  its  Gallic  name  Ben-avon, 
exactly  describes  its  situation  on  the  summit  of  a  hill.  On 
the  very  edge  of  the  cliff,  a  little  east  of  the  port,  are  the 
remains  of  the  tower  built  by  Caligula  (a.d.  40),  when  he 
marched  to  the  shore  of  the  channel  with  an  army  of 
100,000  men,  boasting  that  he  intended  to  invade  the 
opposite  coast  of  Britain,  but  contenting  himself  with 
gathering  a  few  shells,  which  he  called  the  spoils  of  the 
ocean.  The  tower  is  supposed  to  have  been  intended  for  a 
lighthouse,  and  its  modern  name  La  Tour  d'Orde,  a  cor- 

1  The  Morini  occupied  this  part  of  Gaul ;  the  name  signifies  their  maritime 
position,  as  does  Armorica,  the  district  "by  the  sea."  The  ancient  Armorica 
stretched  along  the  whole  of  the  north  coast  of  Gaul ;  but  the  Norman  invasion 
and  settlement  cut  the  two  Celtic  peoples  of  the  Bretons  and  Morini  apart. 

2  This  name,  about  the  time  of  Constantine,  supplanted  the  older  Latin  name  of 


S.    PATRICK.      After  Cahier. 

March,  p.  288.] 

[March  17. 

#— — * 

March  i7.]  S.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  289 

ruption  of  Turn's  Ardens,  points  it  out  as  having  been  used 
for  this  purpose.  A  very  good  case  is,  however,  made  out 
for  a  site  on  the  Roman  Wall,  in  which  case  Patrick  would 
be  the  son  of  one  of  the  Roman  colonists  or  defenders 
of  the  wall,  and  a  native  of  Cumberland.  In  his  epistle 
against  Coroticus,  S.  Patrick  tells  us  he  was  of  an  honour- 
able family  according  to  the  flesh,  his  father  having  held 
the  office  of  decurion,  which  conferred  a  certain  amount 
of  nobility.  Clerks  were  not  then  forbidden  to  hold 
such  offices.  He  calls  the  Romans  his  fellow  citizens,  and 
this  circumstance,  coupled  with  the  fact,  that  the  names  of 
S.  Patrick,  of  his  father,  and  of  his  grandfather,  are  purely 
Latin,  points  to  the  conclusion  that  the  family  was  of 
Roman  extraction;  but  his  mother,  whose  name  was 
Conchessa,  was  the  daughter  of  Erkbalius,  or  Ocbasius, 

His  birth  took  place  about  the  year  387,  for  at  his 
consecration  to  the  episcopate,  a  person  divulged  a  fault 
he  had  committed  thirty  years  before,  when  a  boy  of 
fifteen ;  and  he  was  consecrated  at  the  end  of  431,  or  the 
beginning  of  432  j  when  the  news  of  the  death  of  Palladius 
reached  him. 

When  S.  Patrick  was  sixteen  years  old,  Nial  Navigiallach, 
or  Nial  of  the  Nine  Hostages,  an  Irish  king,  in  ravaging  the 
coasts  of  Great  Britain  and  Gaul,  entered  the  port  of 
Bonona,  in  403,  and  carried  off  S.  Patrick  and  many  other 
youths  captive.  On  being  brought  to  Ireland,  S.  Patrick 
became  the  servant  or  slave  of  a  man  named  Miliac,  or 
Milcho,  who  lived  in  Dalrhidia,  which  is  now  comprised 
within  the  county  of  Antrim.  Some  say  that  he  was  a 
prince ;  others  that  he  was  a  magus,  that  is,  invested  with 
a  religious  function ;  and  others  represent  him  only  as  a 
rich  maa     S.  Patrick  calls  his  master  merely  "a  man," 

vol.  hi.  19 

* * 

* f 

290  Lives  of  the  Saints.  March  i7. 

without  adding  anything  concerning  his  situation  in  life. 
With  that  profound  humility,  which  every  line  written  by 
this  truly  great  saint  breathes,  he  tells  us  that  he  had  been 
very  careless  about  religion  when  a  boy ;  but  that,  when  he 
found  himself  in  the  misery  of  slavery,  God  opened  his  eyes 
to  behold  the  wondrous  things  of  His  law.  His  occupation 
was  to  tend  sheep  on  the  wild  brown  bogs;  and  amidst 
snow,  frost,  or  rain,  he  rose  before  daylight,  that  he  might 
" prevent  the  day-break"  with  his  prayers.1 

One  night,  after  he  had  been  in  service  for  six  years,  as 
he  slept,  he  heard  a  voice  cry  to  him,  "  Thou  fastest  well, 
and  soon  shalt  return  to  thy  country."  Presently  once 
more  the  voice  said,  "Behold,  a  ship  is  ready  for  thee." 
He  tells  this  story  himself.  Moreover  he  heard  that  the 
ship  was  far  off  on  the  coast,  a  great  many  miles  from  where 
he  then  lived.  So  he  betook  himself  to  flight.  "  And  by 
God's  power,"  he  adds,  "  I  came  to  a  good  end  f  and  I 
was  under  no  apprehension  until  I  reached  the  ship.  She 
was  then  clearing  out  and  I  asked  for  a  passage.  The 
master  of  the  vessel  angrily  bade  me  not  think  of  going 
with  him.  On  hearing  this  I  retired  to  the  hut  where  I  had 
been  received  and  lodged,  and  on  my  way  prayed.  But, 
before  I  had  finished  my  prayer,  I  heard  one  of  the  men 
shouting  after  me,  '  Come  along  !  they  are  asking  for  thee.' 
So  I  returned  immediately.  And  they  said,  c  Come,  we  will 
take  thee  on  trust,  {i.e.,  on  the  chance  of  getting  paid  the 

1  An  instance  of  the  way  in  which  later  writers  have  amplified  the  incidents  may 
here  be  given.  Probus  adds  that  he  diligently  perused  the  psalter  and  hymns,  and 
Jocelin  that  he  read  the  whole  psalter  through  every  day.  "As  if,"  says  Dr. 
Lanigan,  "he  could  have  found  books  containing  them  in  the  North  of  Ireland  at 
that  period,  or,  when  suddenly  made  a  prisoner,  had  time  to  provide  himself  with 
religious  tracts,  or,  while  still  a  careless  boy,  was  anxious  about  them." 

*  "  Et  veni  ....  ad  bonum,"  according  to  the  Bollandists  ought  to  be  "  ad 
Beiiam,"  that  is  to  Bar.try  Bay. 



March  i7.]  S.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  291 

fare  on  reaching  Bononia) ;  we  are  about  to  sail,  and  hope 
to  reach  land  in  three  days.' " 

They  at  once  set  sail,  and  reached  the  coast  of  Gaul 
in  three  days,  perhaps  in  Brittany.  They  travelled  for 
twenty-eight  days  through  a  country  rendered  desolate  by 
the  ravages  of  the  Franks.  Whilst  on  their  way,  he  and 
his  fellow  travellers  were  near  perishing  for  want  of  food ; 
and  then  the  master  of  the  ship  or  merchant,  who  had 
received  Patrick  and  given  him  a  passage,  and  who  was 
now  travelling  along  the  same  road  with  his  wares,  ex- 
claimed, "  Christian  1  thy  God  is  powerful.  Pray  for  us, 
for  we  are  starving."  The  saint  desired  them  to  turn  with 
faith  to  the  Lord,  and  he  prayed,  and  suddenly  a  drove  of 
swine  appeared  crashing  through  the  bushes,  and  they 
chased  and  killed  many  of  them,  and  halted  two  days  to 
recover  and  refresh  themselves.  The  merchants  gave 
thanks  to  the  God  of  Patrick,  and  shortly  after,  finding 
some  wild  honey,  they  gave  him  a  part,  saying,  "  This  is  an 
offering.     God  be  thanked." 

A  very  curious  story  of  this  journey  is  told  by  the  saint 
in  his  Confession.  Having  feasted  on  the  pork,  after  long 
hunger,  the  natural  result  was  an  attack  of  night-mare,  that 
same  night,  which  he  says  seemed  to  him  in  his  dream  like 
Satan  rolling  a  great  rock  upon  his  chest  In  an  ecstasy  of 
fear  he  screamed  out  "  Elias,  Elias  !"  and  thereupon  he  says, 
"  Lo  !  the  splendour  of  the  sun  shone  on  me,  and  dispelled 
all  the  burden  on  me."  Dr.  Lanigan  says  this  is  evidence 
of  his  invoking  a  saint  There  can  be  little  doubt  that 
every  well-instructed  Christian  of  the  time  would  have  in- 
voked a  saint,  but  it  seems  probable  here  that  this  was  not  an 
invocation  of  the  prophet  Elias,  but  an  invocation  common 
perhaps  among  the  heathen  and  half-converted  Roman  sett- 
lers, of  "Helios  !"  the  sun,  which  had  passed  into  an  exclama- 
tion ;    and  this  will  explain  the  passage  which  immediately 


* ^ 

292  Lives  of  the  Saints.  March  17. 

follows  about  the  sun  at  once  shining  upon  him.  Patrick 
at  this  time  was  not  well  instructed  in  Christianity,  and  he 
had  been  stolen  as  a  thoughtless  boy  from  his  home,  before 
his  education  was  complete,  or  his  mind  had  turned  to  the 
truths  of  Christianity.  In  his  old  age  he  related  this 
anecdote  of  himself,  but  it  is  impossible  to  conclude  from 
the  context  what  he  meant  by  the  exclamation. 

S.  Patrick  reached  home  about  the  year  409,  and  re- 
mained there  for  a  while.  He  was  then  aged  twenty-two. 
Perhaps  it  was  soon  after  this  that  he  went  to  Tours  and 
studied  for  four  years.  He  then  returned  home  to 
Bonona,  and  was  again  made  captive,  probably  by  a  roving 
band  of  Frank  marauders ;  but  his  captivity  was  of  short 
duration,  lasting  only  sixty  days.  His  friends  entreated 
him  not  to  leave  them,  after  all  he  had  endured,  but  he 
relates  that  he  saw  in  a  vision  of  the  night  a  man  named 
Victoricius1  bringing  him  a  letter,  at  the  head  of  which 
were  the  words,  "The  voice  of  the  Irish."  And  then  he 
thought  he  heard  the  cry  of  many  persons  from  one  of  the 
Irish  forests,  where  they  strayed  in  darkness  and  error, 
"  We  entreat  thee,  O  holy  boy,  come  and  walk  still  in  the 
midst  of  us  !"    And  greatly  affected,  Patrick  awoke. 

About  the  year  418,  he  placed  himself  under  the  direction 
of  S.  Germain  of  Auxerre.  After  this  period  it  is  difficult,  if 
not  impossible,  to  arrange  correctly  the  succeeding  trans- 
actions of  his  life,  until  near  the  time  of  his  mission.  Nine 
years  he  spent  in  retirement  in  an  island  which  has  been 
conjectured  to  be  Lerins.  It  was  during  the  same  interval, 
that  S.  Patrick  accompanied  S.  Germain  and  S.  Lupus  of 
Troyes  in  their  spiritual  expedition  to  Great  Britain,  in  the 
year  429,  for  the  purpose  of  extirpating  the  Pelagian 
heresy,  which  had  taken  root  in  that  island.     This  is  stated 

1  Probably  S.  Victricius,  one  of  the  apostles  of  the  Morini,  afterwards  bishop 
of  Rouen. 

* — ^ 

March  17.]  ,£  Patrick  of  Ireland.  293 

in  some  accounts  of  S.  Patrick's  proceedings ;  and  the  lives, 
though  they  are  silent  about  it,  give  nothing  which  might 
tend  to  invalidate  it  SS.  Germain  and  Lupus  returned  to 
Gaul  at  Easter,  in  430.  It  is  very  probable  that  the  infor- 
mation which  they  might  have  obtained,  during  their 
residence  in  Great  Britain,  concerning  the  wants  of  the  Irish 
Christians,  was  communicated  to  pope  Celestine,  who 
either  had  already  determined  on  sending  a  bishop  to 
Ireland,  or  was  advised  to  do  so  by  these  prelates.  And 
who  was  better  calculated  to  take  part  in  this  mission  than 
Patrick,  who  had  lived  six  years  in  Ireland,  and  had 
acquired  a  sufficient  knowledge  of  the  language  of  that 
country?  In  431,  he  was  sent  to  Rome  by  S.  Germain, 
recommended  by  him  to  the  pope  as  a  person  fit  to  be 
employed  in  the  work,  of  which  Palladius  was  appointed 
the  chief.  Whether  he  arrived  in  Rome  before  Palladius 
set  out,  or  not  long  after,  cannot  be  ascertained.  From 
the  pope  he  received  a  benediction  for  the  great  mission 
which  he  was  about  to  undertake  ;  but  he  does  not  appear 
to  have  received  episcopal  ordination  at  Rome,  for  Pal- 
ladius was  already  consecrated,  and  the  news  of  his  banish- 
ment had  not  as  yet  arrived.  It  appears,  also,  from  the 
"  Confession "  of  S.  Patrick  that  he  was  consecrated  not 
far  from  his  own  country.  The  account  of  S.  Patrick's 
consecration  by  Celestine  is  not  to  be  met  with  in  any  of 
the  lives  except  those  two  compilations  of  legendary  matter, 
Jocelin's  and  the  Tripartite ;  whence  it  made  its  way  into 
certain  Brevaries.  S.  Patrick  left  Rome  either  late  in  431,  or 
early  in  432.  He  was  perhaps  accompanied  by  Auxilius  and 
Serenus  or  Iserninus.  These  were  certainly  afterwards  in 
Ireland  with  S.  Patrick,  but  whether  they  accompanied  him 
from  Rome,  or  were  selected  by  him  from  among  his 
acquaintance  in  Gaul,  cannot  be  ascertained ;  and  it  is  not 
certain  that  they  came  to  Ireland  till  some  years  later. 

294  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i». 

We  next  hear  of  Patrick  at  Eboria  (Eborica),  Evreux, 
where  he  heard  the  news  of  the  failure  of  the  mission  of 
Palladius.  On  receiving  this  information,  it  became  neces- 
sary for  him  to  be  consecrated,  and  for  this  purpose  he 
applied  to  a  bishop  resident  in  the  neighbourhood,  and 
from  him  received  episcopal  orders.  His  relations  and 
friends  hurried  to  Evreux  to  prevent  his  ordination  ;  he 
was  insensible  to  their  entreaties,  and  then,  hoping  to  raise 
a  prejudice  against  him,  a  friend  divulged  a  fault  Patrick 
had  committed  when  a  boy.  But  all  their  efforts  were  in 
vain,  for  God  was  with  him,  and  had  marked  him  out  for 
his  great  work. 

Everything  being  arranged,  S.  Patrick  embarked,  probably 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Seine,  and  had  a  prosperous  voyage  to 
Great  Britain.  According  to  Probus  and  some  of  the  lives 
he  crossed  that  country  without  stopping  on  the  way. 

He  landed  in  Wicklow  6ome  time  after  April  in  432. 
Pope  Celestine  was  dead,  and  Sixtus  III.  sat  in  the  Chair 
of  S.  Peter.  Having  landed,  Patrick  went  to  a  place  in  the 
neighbourhood  which  cannot  now  be  identified,  and  being 
repulsed  by  the  natives,  was  obliged  again  to  go  on  board 
his  ship.  He  landed  again  at  Lecale  in  the  county  of 
Down.  A  herdsman,  thinking  it  was  a  party  of  marauders, 
ran  to  the  lord  of  the  district,  named  Dichu,  and  informed 
him  of  the  arrival  of  a  party  of  strangers.  Dichu  armed  his 
retainers  and  hasted  to  the  shore,  but  the  peaceable 
appearance  of  the  missioners  disarmed  him,  and  he  brought 
them  to  his  house,  which  was  at  the  place  now  called  Saul, 
and  hospitably  entertained  them.  There  the  saint  had  an 
opportunity  of  announcing  to  him  the  Christian  faith,  and 
Dichu  was  the  first-fruits  of  his  mission.  All  his  family 
followed  his  example,  and  likewise  became  Christians ;  and 
S.  Patrick  celebrated  divine  worship  in  the  barn  of  Dichu, 
which  in  after  times  became  known  as  Sabhall  Padruic,  or 

* : j, 

March  17.]  ,5,  Patrick  of  Ireland.  295 

the  Barn  of  Patrick;  and  in  after  years  it  was  converted 
into  a  church,  and  a  monastery  was  attached  to  it 

S.  Patrick  did  not  remain  many  days  at  the  house  of 
Dichu,  and  left  his  ship  or  boat  in  the  care  of  this  new 
convert,  until  he  should  return.  He  then  set  out  by  land 
for  the  place  where  his  old  master,  Milcho,  lived.  He  was 
an  obstinate  unbeliever,  and  on  hearing  of  S.  Patrick's  ap- 
proach, was  determined  not  to  see  and  receive  him.1 

S.  Patrick,  finding  his  efforts  for  the  conversion  of  Mil- 
cho unavailing,  returned  to  the  district  in  which  Dichu 
resided,  and  remained  there  for  several  days,  preaching  the 
Gospel  with  great  success.  One  of  his  principal  converts 
on  this  occasion  was  Ross,  son  of  Trichem,  who  lived  near 
the  present  town  of  Downpatrick.  In  this  neighbourhood 
he  met  a  youth,  called  Mochoe,  whom,  after  instruction,  he 
baptized  and  tonsured,  thus  dedicating  him  to  the  ecclesias- 
tical state.  He  also  gave  him  the  book  of  the  Gospels  and 
some  sacred  vessels.  This  must  not,  however,  be  under- 
stood as  having  all  taken  place  during  the  present  stay  of  S. 
Patrick  at  Lecale. 

S.  Patrick  resolved  on  celebrating  the  Easter  of  433  neai 
Tarah,  where  the  princes  and  nobles  of  the  whole  kingdom 
were  to  be  assembled  about  that  time.  He,  therefore,  left 
his  friend  and  convert,  Dichu,  and  sailing  southwards, 
arrived  at  Colp,  in  the  mouth  of  the  Eoyne,  and  leaving  his 
boat  there,  set  out  with  his  companions  on  foot  for  the  plain 
of  Bry,  in  which  the  city  of  Tarah  was  situated.  On  their 
way  they  passed  the  night  in  the  house  of  a  man  of  sub- 
stance, named  Seschuen,  who  became  obedient  to  the  faith, 

1  An  instance  of  the  rodomontade  of  some  of  the  later  lives  may  be  quoted  here. 
They  say  that  to  escape  S.  Patrick's  persuasive  eloquence  only  one  way  lay  open 
to  him,  to  set  fire  to  his  house  and  furniture  and  property,  and  precipitate  himself 
into  the  flames.  As  a  specimen  of  the  absurdity  of  some  of  the  legends,  the 
following  will  suffice.  A  robber  stole  one  of  S.  Patrick's  goats  and  ate  it.  S 
Patrick  called  his  goat,  and  it  bleated  to  him  out  of  the  man's  belly. 


296  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  u. 

and  was  baptized,  with  all  his  house,  by  S.  Patrick.  A  son 
of  his,  whom  at  his  baptism  our  saint,  considering  his  sweet 
disposition,  called  Benignus,  became  so  attached  to  him 
that  he  insisted  on  accompanying  S.  Patrick,  and  he  became 
one  of  the  saint's  most  favourite  disciples,  and  was  after- 
wards consecrated  archbishop  of  Armagh.  It  is  not,  how- 
ever, to  be  supposed  that  the  baptism  of  Seschuen  and  his 
family  was  accomplished  on  that  occasion,  but  probably 
took  place  after  the  Paschal  solemnity,  which  was  near  at 

On  Easter-eve,  S.  Patrick  arrived  at  Slane.  He  pitched 
his  tent,  and  made  preparations  for  celebrating  the  festival 
of  Easter,  and  accordingly  lighted  the  Paschal  fire  about 
night-fall.  It  happened  that  at  this  very  time  the  king  Leo- 
gaire  (Lear)  and  the  assembled  princes  were  celebrating  a 
religious  festival  in  honour  of  the  return  of  the  sun  to  power 
and  heat.  Part  of  the  ritual  of  this  festival  consisted  in 
every  fire  being  extinguished  for  some  days  previous,  that  all 
might  be  relighted  from  the  sacred  fire  in  the  palace  or 
temple  of  Temora,  on  Tarah  hill,  which  was  kindled  on  a 
certain  day,  now  near  at  hand.  Twilight  had  settled  over 
the  great  plain,  and  all  men  waited  for  the  red  flame  to 
shoot  up  on  Tarah  hill,  a  signal  that  the  festival  was  begun, 
and  that  all  might  rekindle  their  hearth  fires  from  the  conse- 
crated blaze.  But  a  spark  shone  out  far  away  on  the  plain, 
from  the  tent  of  Patrick,  and  consternation  at  this  sacrilege 
and  infringement  of  precedent  became  general.  The  king 
at  once  galloped  to  Slane,  followed  by  a  crowd,  and  accom- 
panied by  two  priests,  who  assured  him  that  unless  this  fire 
were  extinguished,  it  would  overpower  their  fires,  and  bring 
the  kingdom  to  its  downfall.  On  arriving  within  a  short 
distance  of  the  tent  and  fire,  the  king  dismounted,  seated 
himself,  ordered  his  followers  to  seat  themselves,  and  not  to 
rise  or  show  any  respect  to  the  violator  of  their  laws,  and 



March  i?.]  S.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  297 

then  ordered  Patrick  to  be  brought  before  him.  On  his 
presenting  himself,  one  alone  rose  and  saluted  him,  breaking 
the  king's  command ;  this  was  the  little  lad  Here,  son  of 
Drogo,  and  the  saint  thereupon  blessed  him.  He  was  after- 
wards bishop  of  Slane,  and  celebrated  for  his  sanctity.  He 
was  ordered  to  declare  his  object  in  coming  to  Ireland,  and 
contend  with  the  wise  men,  or  priests,  next  day.  On  Easter- 
day,  therefore,  he  preached  before  the  king  and  his  nobles, 
and  strove  with  the  captious  objections  of  the  Wise-men. 
It  was  then,  probably,  when  explaining  the  mystery  of  the 
Trinity,  and  when  questioned  as  to  the  triple  Personality  of 
the  One  God,  that  he  stooped  and  plucked  a  shamrock,  and 
exhibited  it  as  a  symbol  of  the  Catholic  doctrine  of  the 
Triune  God.1 

Passing  over  certain  contests  between  S.  Patrick  and  the 
Wise-men,  which  are  absurd  parodies  of  those  between 
Moses  and  the  Egyptian  enchanters,  we  find  Dubtach,  an 
eminent  bard,  boldly  submitting  to  the  faith,  and  dedicating 
his  poetic  talents  to  Christ.  Some  of  his  works  are  still  ex- 
tant. The  king  was  not  converted,  but  he  permitted  Patrick 
to  preach  freely  the  Word  of  God.  From  Tarah  the  saint 
proceeded  to  Tailten,  where  public  games  were  celebrated ; 
and  it  seems  that  the  chiefs  lately  assembled  for  the  religious 
solemnity  at  Tarah  had  adjourned  thither.  The  apostle 
preached  to  Carlre,  a  brother  of  Leogaire,  but  was  badly 
received  by  him.     The  conduct  of  Conall,  another  brother, 

1  Jocelin  tells  some  absurd  stories  about  his  contest  with  the  Magi  or  Wise-men. 
He  relates  how  that  one  of  them,  Lochu,  a  great  friend  of  the  king,  to  show  the 
power  of  his  religion,  rose  in  the  air,  as  though  ascending  to  the  skies.  Then 
Patrick  prayed,  and  angelic  hands  flung  a  snow-ball  at  him  out  of  heaven,  which 
knocked  him  down,  head  foremost,  on  a  sharp  stone  at  Patrick's  feet,  and  that  was 
the  end  of  him.  Another  miracle  was  as  follows : — A  house  was  built,  one-half  of 
green  wood,  the  other  of  dry  timber.  A  Magus  was  vested  in  S.  Patrick's  chasuble, 
and  placed  in  the  green  wood  part  of  the  house ;  and  Benignus  in  the  Magus's 
habit  in  that  part  which  was  of  dry  wood.  The  house  was  set  on  fire.  The  green 
timber  was  burnt,  with  the  Magus,  but  not  the  chasuble;  the  dry  timber  would  not 
burn,  and  Benignus  escaped,  only  his  coat  was  reduced  to  ashes. 


298  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  17. 

was  different;  he  listened  to  S.  Patrick  with  delight,  be- 
lieved, and  was  baptized.  To  this  memorable  Easter  week, 
which  was  the  first  that  occurred  since  the  saint's  arrival 
on  his  mission,  must  be  referred  the  origin  of  the  festival 
of  "S.  Patrick's  Baptism,"  anciently  held  in  Ireland  on 
April  5  th. 

Henceforth  it  becomes  extremely  difficult  and  next  to  im- 
possible to  arrange,  with  chronological  accuracy,  the  subse- 
quent transactions  of  S.  Patrick's  mission.  After  having 
celebrated  Easter  week,  he  set  out  on  the  following  Monday 
for  other  places  in  Meath,  in  which  he  seems  to  have  passed 
a  considerable  time.  He  tells  us  in  his  Confession,  that  to 
gain  the  goodwill  of  the  chieftains,  he  used  to  make  presents 
to  them,  and  take  some  of  their  sons  with  him  to  educate 
them.  When  on  the  point  of  quitting  for  some  time  these 
parts  of  Ireland,  after  having  established  many  flourishing 
colonies  of  Christians,  and  ordained  priests  to  minister  to 
them,  he  turned  a  little  northward  for  the  purpose  of  de- 
stroying the  Crom-cruach  (crooked-heap),  a  monument  dedi- 
cated to  the  sun  ;  probably  a  great  Druidical  pile  of  stones, 
superposed  on  uprights,  standing  in  a  plain  near  Feanagh, 
in  the  county  of  Leitrim.  After  this,  probably  in  435,  he 
set  out  for  Connaught,  and  crossing  the  Shannon,  arrived  at 
Dumha-graidh.  where  a  remarkable  incident  occurred. 

As  he  was  advancing  into  the  plain  of  Connaught,  he 
stopped  with  his  companions  at  a  fountain  near  the  royal 
residence  Cruachan  (now  Croghan,  near  Elphin),  and  at 
break  of  day  began  to  chant  the  praises  of  the  Lord. 

Ethnea  the  fair,  and  Fethlima  the  ruddy,  daughters  of 
king  Leogaire,  were  there,  and  had  come  very  early  to  the 
fountain  for  the  purpose  of  washing  themselves,  when,  look- 
ing up,  they  saw  men  clothed  in  white  garments,  holding 
books  in  their  hands,  advance,  chanting.  The  damsels, 
full  of  wonder,  asked  them  what  manner  of  men  they  were, 

4. * 

March  i».j  S.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  299 

and  Patrick  seized  the  opportunity  of  announcing  to  them 
the  true  God.  They  asked  him  many  strange  questions,  as 
to  where  God  dwelt,  whether  he  was  rich,  and  young  or  old, 
and  how  he  was  to  be  revered ;  and  Patrick  explained  to 
them  the  principal  truths  of  the  Christian  religion  in  answer 
to  their  questions.  Delighted  with  his  discourse,  they  de- 
clared themselves  ready  to  adopt  this  new  and  wondrous 
creed,  so  beautiful  and  awful,  and  besought  the  stranger  to 
instruct  them  further.  He  did  so,  and  on  their  having  pro- 
fessed their  belief  in  the  doctrines  he  had  propounded,  he 
baptized  them.  Then  they  told  him  that  they  desired  to 
see,  face  to  face,  that  dear  Lord  who  had  come  on  earth  for 
them  on  Mary's  knee,  and  had  died  on  Calvary  top  so  cruel 
a  death  ;  so  Patrick  explained  to  them  that  great  answer  of 
the  heart  of  Jesus  to  the  heart  of  man,  crying  to  see  Him 
— the  Eucharistic  Presence. 

"  Give  us  the  Sacrifice  of  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ," 
they  asked,  "  that  we  may  be  freed  from  the  corruption  of 
the  flesh,  and  see  our  Spouse  who  is  in  heaven." 

Then  S.  Patrick  celebrated  Mass,  and  communicated 
them.  He  proceeded  west  to  Sligo  and  Roscommon,  mak- 
ing many  converts,  and  building  several  churches,  to  which 
he  attached  priests.  In  Lent,  he  ascended  Croagh  Aigle, 
now  Croagh  Padrig,  in  Mayo,  for  meditation  and  prayer. 
He  preached  at  Firawley  to  an  assembly  of  seven  princes, 
and  baptized  them  and  1,200  of  their  subjects.  Passing 
through  North  Connaught,  he  continued  his  course  through 
West  Cashel,  to  Ulster.  Thus  ended  his  mission  in  Con- 
naught,  which  lasted  seven  years.  In  443,  he  entrusted 
bishop  Secundinus,  who,  with  Iserninus  and  Auxilius,  had 
received  consecration  in  Great  Britain  or  Gaul,  with  the 
oversight  of  his  converts  in  Meath  and  North  Ireland,  while 
he  went  on  a  mission  through  East  Leinster  and  Munster.    . 

In  Leinster  he  baptized  two  princes.     In  Wicklow  he  was 

300  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  x». 

ill-received  by  prince  Deichin,  but  was  hospitably  enter- 
tained by  Killan,  a  poor  man,  who  slew  his  only  cow  to  feed 
Patrick  and  his  followers.  Dubtach  having  recommended 
Fiech,  his  pupil  in  bardic  lore,  as  a  fit  person  for  ordination, 
Fiech  received  the  tonsure  and  books  for  study  from  S. 
Patrick,  and  afterwards  became  chief  bishop  of  the  dis- 
trict, and  fixed  his  seat  at  Sletty. 

Entering  Munster,  in  445,  S.  Patrick  went  straight  to 
Cashel ;  and  the  king  came  forth  to  meet  him.  His  son 
Aengus  was  converted,  and  afterwards  baptized,  when  he 
came  to  the  throne  on  the  death  of  his  father.  During  the 
performance  of  the  Sacrament,  as  the  bishop  raised  his 
hands  above  the  head  of  the  king,  he  allowed  his  pastoral 
staff  to  fall  unintentionally  on  the  foot  of  Aengus,  and  the 
sharp  point  wounded  him.  The  king  made  no  remark,  but 
bore  the  pain  without  flinching,  supposing  this  act  formed  a 
portion  of  the  ceremony.1 

S.  Patrick  here  made  many  converts.  He  spent  seven 
years  in  Munster,  and  set  out,  in  432,  to  return  to  Leinster. 
He  was  followed  by  many  chieftains,  and  by  much  people, 
desiring  his  parting  blessing,  and  to  take  a  last  look  of  the 
dear  face  of  him  who  had  brought  them  out  of  darkness 
into  the  clear  light  of  the  glorious  Gospel  of  Christ  Moved 
by  their  love,  Patrick  ascended  a  hill,  and  spreading  forth 
his  arms,  gave  his  apostolic  benediction  to  the  whole  of 
Munster.  Thus  was  he  parted  from  their  sight  in  the  act 
of  blessing,  like  to  his  Divine  Master,  who  ascended  out  of 
His  disciples'  sight,  with  his  hands  extended  in  benediction. 

During  his  stay  in  Munster,  Secundinus  had  died,  the 
first  bishop  who  had  expired  in  Ireland.  An  alphabetical 
hymn,  in  honour  of  S.  Patrick  is,  with  good  reason,  attri- 
buted to  him. 

•  1  This  was  too  good  a  story  for  Jocelin  not  to  spoil  it.  So  he  relates,  In  contra- 
diction to  the  other  historians,  that  the  king  felt  no  pain,  and  the  wound  wa» 
miraculously  healed  on  S.  Patrick  resuming  his  staff. 



March  rj.]  ,£  Patrick  of  Ireland.  301 

About  the  same  time  also,  Cerotian,  or  Caradoc,  a  Welsh 
prince,  made  a  descent  on  the  coast,  and  carried  off  cap- 
tives. This  called  forth  from  S.  Patrick  a  letter,  which  is 
still  extant  The  particulars  of  this  inroad  have  been 
elsewhere  related  (March  23rd,  S.  Fingar),  and  need  not  be 
repeated  here. 

Neither  need  we  repeat  here  the  escape  of  S.  Patrick 
from  a  chieftain  in  Leinster  who  sought  his  death,  through 
the  generous  self-sacrifice  of  his  charioteer,  Odran  (Feb. 

When  S.  Patrick  reached  Sabhall,  his  favourite  retreat  in 
Ulster,  he  would  not  take  that  rest  he  so  much  needed,  but 
spent  his  time  in  completing  the  conversion  of  the  natives, 
and  building  churches.  But  the  time  had  come  for  fixing 
on  a  spot  for  a  metropolitan  see.  He,  therefore,  went 
through  the  land,  and  coming  into  the  district  where  is  the 
present  Armagh,  a  man,  named  Macka,  offered  him  a  site 
on  an  eminence.  There  he  built  a  church  and  a  monastery. 
A  legend  in  the  Book  of  Armagh  is  too  good  not  to  be 
true;  it  could  hardly  have  been  invented.  According  to 
this  book,  the  owner  of  the  hill  was  one  Daeri,  and  Patrick 
having  set  his  heart  on  the  site,  asked  for  it ;  but  it  was  re- 
fused, and  a  portion  of  the  valley  offered  him  instead.  One 
day  the  noble  brought  to  S.  Patrick  a  large  cauldron  of 
foreign  manufacture,  and  presented  it  to  him,  saying, 
"  There  !  this  cauldron  is  thine."  "  Gratias  agam  (I  thank 
thee),"  answered  the  saint  in  Latin.  Daeri  went  home  mut- 
tering, "  What  a  fool  that  fellow  is  to  say  only  '  Gratzacham,' 
for  a  wonderful  cauldron  containing  three  firkins.  Ho  ! 
slaves,  go  and  fetch  it  back  to  me  again."  So  the  thralls 
went  and  brought  back  the  vessel.  "  Well,  what  said  he  to 
you,  churls  ?"  "  He  said  'Gratzacham '  again,"  they  replied, 
"  Gratzacham  when  I  give,  and  Gratzacham  when  I  take 
away !    The  saying  is  so  good,  that  for  these  Gratzachams 



2,02  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  17. 

he  shall  have  his  cauldron  back  again.  Ho  !  slaves,  take 
the  vessel  back  to  Patrick."  Daeri  accompanied  the  caul- 
dron, and  praised  the  saint  for  his  imperturbable  self-posses- 
sion ;  and  then,  in  a  fit  of  good-nature,  gave  him  the  hill 
which  he  had  at  first  refused  him.  Patrick  went  forth  to 
view  the  site,  and  found  a  roe  with  her  fawn  lying  on  the 
place  where  the  altar  of  the  Northern  Church  now  is.  His 
companions  would  have  killed  it,  but  the  saint  raised  the 
fawn  and  laid  it  on  his  shoulders,  and  the  roe  trotted  after 
him,  till  he  laid  the  fawn  down  in  another  place. 

He  held  two  Synods  at  Armagh,  at  which  canons  for  the 
whole  of  Ireland  were  drawn  up. 

S.  Patrick  having  thus  established  the  see  of  Armagh, 
spent  the  remainder  of  his  life  between  it  and  his  favourite 
retreat  of  Sabhul  or  Saul.  He  may  have  made  excursions 
to  some  of  the  districts  adjacent  to  both  places  ;  but  we  do 
not  find  any  account  that  can  be  depended  upon,  of  his 
having  thenceforth  visited  again  the  other  provinces  of 
Ireland,  much  less  of  having  undertaken  any  long  journey. 
For  we  are  not  to  listen  to  Jocelin,  who  says  that  he  then 
set  out  for  Rome  with  the  intention  of  getting  the  privileges 
of  the  new  metropolis  confirmed  by  the  Holy  See ;  and  that 
when  he  arrived  there,  the  pope  decorated  him  with  the 
pallium,  and  appointed  him  his  legate  in  Ireland.  This 
pretended  tour  to  Rome,  and  the  concomitant  circumstances 
are  all  set  aside  by  the  testimony  of  S.  Patrick  himself,  who 
gives  us  to  understand  that  from  the  commencement  of  his 
mission  he  constantly  remained  in  Ireland,  until  he  pub- 
lished his  Confession,  which  was  not  written  till  after  the 
foundation  of  Armagh ;  and  that  he  did  not  leave  it  after- 
wards is  equally  plain,  from  his  telling  us  that  he  was  afraid 
to  be  out  of  Ireland  even  for  as  much  time  as  would  serve 
for  paying  a  visit  to  his  relations,  because  in  that  case  he 
would  be  disobeying  the  orders  of  Christ,  who  had  com- 

March  im  .S*.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  303 

manded  him  to  stay  among  the  Irish  for  the  remainder  of 
his  life. 

A  singular  fact  is  related  as  having  occurred  about  the 
time  of  the  building  of  Armagh,  which  shows  how  strictly 
the  fasting  rules  were  observed  by  the  ancient  Irish.  One 
of  the  disciples  of  S.  Patrick,  named  Colman,  having  been 
one  day  greatly  fatigued  by  getting  in  the  harvest,  became 
exceedingly  thirsty,  but  from  fear  of  breaking  the  rule  of 
fasting  till  vesper-time,  would  not  taste  a  drop  of  water. 
The  consequence  was  that  he  died  of  exhaustion.  Had 
the  saint  been  apprized  of  the  danger  in  which  Colman  was, 
he  would  certainly  have  dispensed  with  his  observance  of 
the  rule  on  this  occasion. 

At  length  we  come  to  the  last  days  of  S.  Patrick.  In  his 
extreme  old  age  he  wrote  his  Confession,  and  he  seems  to 
have  felt  that  his  dissolution  was  close  at  hand,  for  he  con- 
cludes with  these  words  :  "  And  this  is  my  confession  before 
I  die  " ;  and  provides  how  the  work  is  to  be  carried  on  after 
his  death.  He  had  been  through  every  province  of  Ireland, 
and  he  speaks  of  the  bulk  of  the  nation  as  then  Christian, 
and  of  his  having  ordained  clergy  everywhere.  His  object 
in  writing  it  was  to  return  thanks  to  the  Almighty  for  his 
singular  mercies  to  himself  and  to  the  Irish  people,  and  to 
confirm  them  in  their  faith,  by  proving  that  God  had  assisted 
him  in  a  most  remarkable  way.  He  also  wished  that  all  the 
world,  and  particularly  his  relatives  or*  the  continent,  who 
had  so  urgently  opposed  his  going  to  Ireland,  should  know 
how  that  the  Almighty  had  prospered  his  handiwork.  For 
this  reason  he  composed  his  book  in  Latin,  apologizing, 
however,  for  the  rudeness  of  the  style ;  for  his  long  sojourn 
in  Ireland,  and  constant  use  of  the  Erse  language,  had 
blunted  his  ease  in  expressing  himself  in  his  native  tongue. 

He  was  at  Saul  when  attacked  with  his  last  illness.  Per- 
ceiving that  his  departure  was  at  hand,  he  desired  to  go  to 


►J< >f« 

304  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  17. 

Armagh,  there  to  breathe  his  last  and  lay  his  bones.  But  he 
is  said  to  have  been  arrested  on  his  way  thither  by  an  angel, 
who  ordered  him  to  return  to  Saul.  Be  this  as  it  may,  to 
that  place  he  went  back,  and  there  he  died  seven  days  after, 
on  the  17th  March,  a.d.  465. x  In  Fiech's  hymn  we  read 
that  his  soul  joined  that  of  another  Patrick,  and  that  they 
proceeded  together  to  heaven.  In  this  singular  passage  the 
author  alludes  to  a  second  Patrick,  who,  as  he  supposed, 
died  just  about  the  same  time.  Who  this  Patrick  was  we 
do  not  know. 

It  is  curious  to  notice  a  mistake  which  has  crept  into  some 
martyrologies,  where  we  find  a  Patrick,  bishop  of  Avernia, 
or  Auvergne,  mentioned  on  March  16th.  But  no  such  a 
Patrick  is  known  in  Auvergne ;  and  this  Patrick  is  simply 
due  to  a  mistake  of  some  copyist,  who  wrote  Avernia  for 
Hivernia  or  Hibernia,  and  so  got  his  name  into  the  martyr- 
ologies as  a  separate  saint,  and,  to  avoid  confusion,  this 
Patrick  of  Auvergne  was  placed  on  a  different  day. 

There  was  also,  or  was  supposed  to  be,  a  Patrick  Senior, 
who  is  commemorated  on  August  4th.  This  Patrick,  accord- 
ing to  Ranulph  of  Chester  (Polychronicron,  lib.  v.  c.  4)  was 
an  Irish  abbot,  who  in  850  retired  to  Glastonbury,  and  there 
died  on  the  25  th  of  August.  But  that  being  S.  Bartholo- 
mew's day  there,  his  festival  was  put  back  to  the  day  before. 
A  great  confusion  arose,  partly  from  this  and  partly  from  S. 
Patrick  being  spoken  of  in  the  Annals  as  Sen  Patrick,  or 
Senex  Patrick,  the  old  man  Patrick,  dying  in  45 8.2  Now, 
some  of  the  writers  of  the  Lives  were  determined  to  give 
to  S.  Patrick  a  long  life,  equal  to  that  of  Moses,  just  as  they 
made  the  contest  of  Moses  and  the  magicians  a  model  for 
a  contest  of  Patrick  and  the  Wise-men ;  so  they  made  this 

1  This  Is  the  date  assigned  by  Dr.  Lanigan.  Dr.  Todd  is  certainly  wrong  in  giv- 
ing 493- 

*  And  in  some  of  the  most  ancient  lives,  which  speak  of  S.  Patrick  at  the  end  of 
his  career  as  Sen-Patrick,  the  old  man  Patrick. 

* — 4* 

March  17.]  S.  Patrick  of  Ireland.  305 

Sen  Patrick  into  a  Patrick  the  elder,  distinct  from  the  great 
apostle.  And  this  mistake  has  found  its  way  into  the  cata- 
logues of  the  archbishops  of  Armagh,  which  has,  besides 
S.  Patrick,  a  namesake  of  his  surnamed  Senior.  But  this 
subject  has  been  further  obscured  by  the  fables  concerning 
Glastonbury,  as  the  monks  there,  having  a  body  of  a  Patrick 
of  Ireland,  supposed  or  pretended  that  it  was  the  body  of 
the  great  S.  Patrick,  and  they  asserted  that  he  had  come 
over  to  Glastonbury,  and  had  died  and  been  buried  there. 
The  Irish  writers  finding  themselves  puzzled  by  these  Glas- 
tonbury stories,  and  unwilling  to  allow  the  Glastonians  the 
honour  of  having  among  them  the  remains  of  S.  Patrick, 
endeavoured  to  compromise  the  matter  by  giving  them,  in- 
stead of  the  apostle,  Sen- Patrick,  or  Patrick  Senior.  This, 
however,  was  not  what  those  monks  wished  for.  They 
insisted  on  having  the  right  S.  Patrick,  and  him  alone  they 
understood  by  the  name  of  Patrick  Senior. 

As  soon  as  the  news  of  the  saint's  death  had  spread 
throughout  Ireland,  the  clergy  nocked  from  all  quarters  to 
celebrate  his  funeral.  This  they  did  with  extraordinary 
pomp  and  great  profession  of  lights,  insomuch  that  for  a 
considerable  time,  during  which  the  obsequies  were  con- 
tinued, both  day  and  night,  we  are  told,  darkness  was  dis- 
pelled, and  the  whole  time  seemed  one  continuous  day. 
This  expression  of  the  ancient  hymn  of  Fiech  has  given 
source  to  a  legend  that  on  this  eventful  occasion  the  sun 
went  not  down,  but  real  daylight  lasted  for  the  whole  func- 
tion. It  is  said  that  a  furious  contest  was  very  near  breaking 
out  concerning  the  place  in  which  S.  Patrick's  remains  should 
be  deposited.  To  prevent  bloodshed,  matters  were  provi- 
dentially so  managed  that  his  body  was  interred  at  Down. 
It  is  said  to  have  been  discovered  and  translated  in  11 85. 

In  art,  S.  Patrick  is  usually  represented  expelling  serpents 
and  other  reptiles  from  the  island  with  his  pastoral  staff,  or 

vor..  in.  20 


306  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i>. 

holding  a  shamrock  leaf.  He  is  said  to  have  had  the  golden 
rod  of  Jesus,  given  him  by  a  hermit  in  Gaul,  wherewith  he 
smote  and  slew  the  Peishta-More,  or  Monster  of  the  Lakes, 
and  this  is  also  frequently  represented  in  art. 

(a.d.    664.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  and  those  of  Bede,  Usuardus,  and  Ado.  German, 
Gallican,  and  Belgian  Martyrologies  commemorate  the  elevation  of  her 
relics  on  Feb.  10th  ;  and  the  translation  on  May  30th  and  April  10th. 
Authorities  : — A  Life,  by  an  eye-witness  of  her  acts,  apparently  a  canon  or 
chaplain  of  the  monastery.  He  says,  "  I  have  endeavoured  in  writing  to 
narrate  what  I  have  seen  myself  or  heard  from  trustworthy  witnesses." 
Another  Life,  written  in  polished  style  from  the  testimony  of  Rinchin,  an 
acquaintance  of  S.  Gertrude.] 

S.  Gertrude  was  the  daughter  of  the  B.  Pepin  of  Lan- 
den  (Feb.  21st)  and  S.  Itta  or  Iduberga  (May  8th).  Her 
brother,  Grimoald,  succeeded  her  father.  Her  sister,  S. 
Begga  (Dec.  17th),  who  married  duke  Ansigis,  and  became 
the  mother  of  Pepin,  the  father  of  Charles  Martel.  S.  Alde- 
gund  (Jan.  30th),  and  S.  Waltrudis  (April  9th),  the  wife  of 
S.  Vincent  (July  14th),  were  also  relatives  of  hers. 

Dagobert,  king  of  the  Franks,  who  had  made  Pepin  of 
Landen  mayor  of  the  palace,  asked  him  to  allow  him  to 
give  Gertrude  in  marriage  to  a  young  Frank  nobleman. 
The  father  hesitated,  knowing  that  his  daughter  desired  to 
lead  the  religious  life,  and  the  king  seeing  his  reluctance 
to  force  his  daughter  to  a  match  for  which  she  was  not 
inclined,  sent  for  Gertrude  herself,  then  aged  about  ten,  and 
endeavoured  to  persuade  her  to  accept  the  hand  offered  her. 
But  Gertrude  resolutely  refused,  declaring  that  she  would 
have  no  other  bridegroom  but  Jesus  Christ.  The  king  dis- 
missed the  child,  and  she  returned  to  her  mother,   who 


S.  GERTRUDE  OF   NIVELLES.    After  Cahicr. 
March,  p.  306.]  [March  17. 

March  17.]  S.   Gertrude.  307 

educated  her  in  the  love  and  fear  of  God.  On  the  death  of 
Pepin,  in  646,  Iduberga,  following  the  advice  of  S.  Aman- 
dus,  bishop  of  Maestricht,  built  the  celebrated  convent  of 
Nivelles,  and  retired  into  it  with  her  daughter,  then  aged 
fourteen.  They  were  soon  followed  by  a  numerous  com- 
pany of  maidens,  and  a  community  was  formed,  to  which 
the  blessed  Iduberga  gave  rules.  The  sisters  were  called 
canonesses,  and  Iduberga  appointed  her  daughter  abbess. 
Thus  the  mother  obeyed  the  child.  The  holy  woman  spent 
twelve  years  in  this  peaceful  retreat,  and  died  in  the  odour 
of  sanctity.  After  her  mother's  death,  Gertrude  made  some 
alterations  in  the  community.  She  instituted  canons,  who 
should  attend  to  the  temporal  affairs  of  the  house,  whilst 
she  devoted  herself  to  the  internal  government  of  the 
sisterhood,  and  their  spiritual  training.  For  this  latter  pur- 
pose Gertrude  devoted  herself  especially  to  the  study  of 
Holy  Scripture,  and  nearly  learnt  the  whole  by  heart  She 
also  built  hospitals  for  the  reception  of  pilgrims,  widows, 
and  orphans,  and  entrusted  the  discipline  of  them  to  the 
canons  and  canonesses  of  her  community. 

After  having  spent  many  years  in  the  practice  of  every 
virtue,  feeling  a  great  langour  come  over  her,  so  that  she 
was  unable  to  discharge  her  duties  with  that  activity  which 
had  been  so  conspicuous  in  her  government  of  the  house, 
she  resigned  the  office  of  superior,  and  created  her  niece, 
S.  Wilfetrudis,  abbess  in  her  place.  Wilfetrudis  was  aged 
twenty ;  she  had  been  brought  up  by  S.  Gertrude,  who  had 
made  of  her  a  mirror  of  perfection.  Gertrude  now  re- 
doubled her  austerities,  wore  a  rough  horse-hair  shirt,  and 
adopted  an  old  veil  which  a  nun  who  had  lodged  in  the 
convent,  on  her  way  elsewhere,  had  left  behind  her,  deeming 
it  too  poor  to  be  worth  preserving.  Gertrude  cast  it  over 
her,  and  bade  the  sisters  bury  her  in  it  when  she  was  dead. 
When  she  felt  that  her  hour  was  approaching,  she  sent  one 

*b »j, 

308  Lives  of  the  Sai?its.  [March  i». 

of  her  canons  to  the  monastery  of  Fosse,  in  the  diocese  of 
Lie'ge,  to  ask  S.  Ultan,  brother  of  SS.  Fursey  and  Forillan, 
when  she  must  die.  The  saint  replied  to  the  messenger, 
"  To-morrow,  during  the  celebration  of  the  holy  Mass,  Ger- 
trude, the  spouse  of  Jesus  Christ,  will  depart  this  life,  to 
enjoy  that  which  is  eternal.  Tell  her  not  to  fear,  for  S. 
Patrick,  accompanied  by  blessed  angels,  will  receive  her 
soul  into  glory."  And  it  was  so,  that  after  she  had  received 
extreme  unction,  and  the  priest  was  reciting  the  prayers 
before  the  preface  in  the  holy  Sacrifice,  on  the  morrow, 
the  second  Sunday  in  Lent,  she  breathed  forth  her  pure 

Her  relics  are  preserved  to  this  day  at  Nivelles,  together 
with  a  goblet  (Patera  Nivigellensis),  in  which  the  custom  to 
drink  to  the  honour  of  S.  Gertrude  (Sinte  Geerts-Minne). 
From  the  saint  having  established  large  hospices  for  the 
reception  of  pilgrims  and  travellers,  whom  she  entertained 
with  great  liberality,  arose  the  custom  of  travellers  drinking 
a  stirrup  cup  to  her  honour  before  starting  on  their  journey. 
She  became  the  patroness  of  travellers.  Then,  by  a  curious 
popular  superstition,  she  was  supposed  to  harbour  souls  on 
their  way  to  paradise.  It  was  said  that  this  was  a  three 
days'  journey.  The  first  night  they  lodged  with  S.  Gertrude, 
the  second  with  S.  Gabriel,  and  the  third  was  in  Paradise. 
She,  therefore,  became  the  patroness  and  protector  of  de- 
parted souls.  Next,  because  popular  Teutonic  superstition 
regarded  mice  and  rats  as  symbols  of  souls,  the  rat  and 
mouse  became  characteristics  of  S.  Gertrude,  and  she  is 
represented  in  art  accompanied  by  one  of  these  animals. 
Then,  by  a  strange  transition,  when  the  significance  of  the 
symbol  was  lost,  she  was  supposed  to  be  a  protectress 
against  rats  and  mice,  and  the  water  of  her  well  in  the  crypt 
at  Nivelles  was  distributed  for  the  purpose  of  driving  away 
these  vermin.     In  the  chapel  of  S.  Gertrude,  which  anciently 

►}« — »J< 

March  i7.]  ,£      Witkburgd.  3O9 

stood  in  the  enclosure  of  the  castle  of  Moha,  near  Huy, 
little  cakes  were  distributed,  which  were  supposed  to  banish 
mice.  For  long  the  right  to  distribute  these  cakes  belonged 
to  the  Jesuits ;  after  the  suppression  of  that  order,  the 
Augustinians  of  Huy  usurped  the  right,  but  it  was  resisted 
by  the  cure  of  Moha,  who  claimed  the  privilege  as  belong- 
ing to  the  parochial  clergy.  The  chapel  was  destroyed  at 
the  French  Revolution,  and  with  it  the  custom  disappeared. 
In  order  to  explain  the  significance  of  the  mouse  in  pic- 
tures of  S.  Gertrude,  when  both  of  these  meanings  were 
abandoned,  it  was  related  that  she  was  wont  to  become  so 
absorbed  in  prayer  that  a  mouse  would  play  about  her,  and 
run  up  her  pastoral  staff,  without  attracting  her  attention. 


(A.D.     743.) 

[Some  ancient  martyrologies,  others  on  July  8th.  Authority: — The  Ely 
Chronicle,  and  a  Life  supposed  to  be  by  Goscelin,  the  historian  of  S.  Wer- 

The  royal  race  of  the  Uffings  of  East  Anglia  was  remark- 
able for  the  crowd  of  saints  which  it  produced.  King 
Anna,  who  married  the  sister  of  Hilda,  the  celebrated  abbess 
of  Whitby,  became  father  of  three  daughters  and  a  son. 
The  son  became  in  his  turn  the  father  of  three  daughters, 
two  of  whom  were  in  succession  abbesses  of  Hackness  in 
Northumbria,  founded  by  their  grand-aunt  S.  Hilda,  and 
the  last,  Eadburga,  became  abbess  of  Repton. 

The  three  daughters  of  Anna, — Etheldreda,  Sexburga, 
and  Withburga — are  all  counted  among  the  saints.  With- 
burga  was  sent  into  the  country  to  be  nursed,  and  remained 
there  till  she  heard,  while  still  quite  young,  of  her  father's 
death  on  the  battle-field.     She  resolved  immediately  to  seek 


310  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i*. 

a  refuge  for  the  rest  of  her  life  in  claustral  virginity.  She 
chose  as  her  asylum  a  modest  remnant  of  her  father's  lands 
at  East  Dereham,  in  Norfolk,  and  there  built  a  little  monas- 
tery. But  she  was  so  poor  that  she,  her  companions,  and 
the  masons  who  built  her  future  dwelling,  had  to  live  on  dry 
bread  alone.  One  day,  after  she  had  prayed  long  to  the 
blessed  Virgin,  she  saw  two  does  come  out  of  the  neigh- 
bouring forest  to  drink  at  a  stream  whose  pure  current 
watered  the  secluded  spot.  Their  udders  were  heavy  with 
milk,  and  they  permitted  themselves  to  be  milked  by  the 
virginal  hands  of  Withburga's  companions,  returning  every 
day  to  the  same  place,  and  thus  furnishing  a  sufficient  supply 
for  the  nourishment  of  the  little  community  and  its  work- 
men. This  lasted  till  the  ranger  of  the  royal  domains,  a 
savage  and  wicked  man,  who  regarded  with  an  evil  eye  the 
rising  house  of  God,  undertook  to  hunt  down  the  two  help- 
ful animals.  He  pursued  them  with  his  dogs  across  the 
country,  but,  in  attempting  to  leap  a  high  hedge,  his  horse 
was  impaled  on  a  post,  and  the  hunter  broke  his  neck. 

Withburga  ended  her  life  in  this  poor  and  humble  soli- 
tude ;  but  the  fragrance  of  her  gentle  virtues  spread  far  and 
wide.  The  fame  of  her  holiness  went  through  all  the  sur- 
rounding country.  The  veneration  given  to  her  by  the  people 
of  Norfolk  was  maintained  with  the  pertinacity  common  to 
the  Anglo-Saxon  race,  and  went  so  far  that,  two  centuries 
after  her  death,  they  armed  themselves  to  defend  her  relics 
from  the  monks  of  Ely,  who  came,  by  the  king's  command, 
to  unite  them  to  those  of  her  sisters  at  Ely. 

There  still  exists  at  East  Dereham  a  well  bearing  the 
name  of  S.  Withburga.  It  is  fed  by  a  spring  rising  in  the 
very  place  where  the  saint's  body  was  laid  before  its  transla- 
tion to  Ely. 

>i»- , ►£, 

March  17.] 

S.  Paul. 



S.  PAUL,  M. 

(ABOUT   A.D.     760.) 

[Roman  Martyrology  and  Greek  Menology.  Authority  : — The  Acts  of 
S.  Stephen  the  junior  (Nov.  28th).] 

In  the  furious  persecution  waged  by  Constantine  Coprony- 
mus  against  images  and  those  who  reverenced  them,  Paul, 
a  Cypriot,  was  brought  before  the  governor  of  that  island, 
Theophanes  Lardotyrus,  and  was  ordered  to  choose  whether 
he  would  stamp  on  a  crucifix  laid  before  him,  or  suffer  torture 
on  the  rack.  In  answer,  he  stooped  and  kissed  the  image  of 
his  Master,  saying,  "  Far  be  it  from  me,  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
only  begotten  Son  of  God,  to  trample  on  Thy  sacred  repre- 
sentation." He  was  at  once  stripped,  pressed  between  two 
boards,  his  body  torn  with  iron  combs,  and  then  hung 
head  downwards  over  a  fire,  which  was  heaped  about  him, 
till  he  was  consumed. 

i'ortioii  of  a  Monstrance. 



312  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i*. 

March  18. 

S.  Gabriel  the  Archangel. 

S.  Alexander,  M.B.  of  Jerusalem,  a.d.  250. 

SS.  Ten  Thousand  Martyrs,  at  Nicomedia,  4th  cent. 

SS.  Tkophimus  and  Eucarpus,  MM.  at  Nicomcdia,  circ.  A.D.  300. 

SS.  Narcissus,  B.M.,  and  Felix,  D.M.  at  Gerona,  beginning  of \th 

S.  Cyril,  Patr.  of  Jerusalem,  a.d.  389. 
S.  Frigidian  or  Finnian,  B.  of  Lucca,  a.d.  589. 
S.  Tetricus,  B.  of  Langres,  a.d.  572. 
S.  Edward,  K.M.  in  England,  a.d.  978. 
S.  Anselm,  B.  of  Lucca,  a.d.  1086. 


j]N  this  day  is  commemorated  Gabriel  the  Arch- 
angel, who  was  sent  to  announce  to  the  Blessed 
Mary  that  she  was  to  become  the  Mother  of 
God.  He  is  commemorated  in  the  Roman 
Martyrology,  and  in  those  of  the  Camaldoli,  the  Trinitarians, 
the  Franciscans,  the  Carmelites,  the  Augustinians,  the  Dis- 
calceate  Carmelites,  and  the  Servites. 

(a.d.  250.) 

[Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  some  editions  of  the  Martyrology  of  Bede ; 
Roman  Martyrology.  By  the  Greeks  on  December  12th.  In  the  Breviary 
of  the  Knights  of  S.  John  of  Jerusalem,  this  festival  is  observed  with  nine 
lections.     His  life  is  gathered  from  the  ecclesiastical  Hist,  of  Eusebius.] 

Alexander,  a  Cappadocian  bishop,  having  come  to 
Jerusalem  to  venerate  the  holy  places,  was  elected  by  reve- 
lation of  God  to  take  the  see  of  Jerusalem  in  place  of 
Narcissus,  who,  on  account  of  his  extreme  old  age,  was 

4* — . . . _* 

March  i8j  ,£  Narcissus.  3 1 3 

unable  to  execute  the  functions  of  his  office.  In  the  perse- 
cution of  Decius,  when  Alexander  was  advanced  in  years, 
with  white  hair,  he  was  conducted  to  Caesarea,  where  he 
was  imprisoned,  and  died  in  his  dungeon. 


(BEGINNING    OF    4TH    CENT.) 

[Roman    Martyrology.      Authority: — The    "Conversio"    of    S.    Afra, 
which  existed  in  the  ninth  century,  but  of  no  historical  value.] 

Narcissus,  bishop  of  Gerona,  being  driven  from  his  see 
in  the  persecution  of  Diocletian,  wandered  homeless  as  far 
as  Augsburg,  where  finding  that  the  Christians  were  mightily 
oppressed,  and  well  nigh  exterminated,  he  and  his  deacon 
Felix,  not  knowing  whither  to  take  refuge,  received  the 
hospitality  offered  them  by  a  courtesan  named  Afra.1  And 
they  not  knowing  who  and  what  manner  of  woman  she  was 
that  invited  them  into  her  house,  went  in  nothing  doubting. 
Then  Afra  marvelled  what  manner  of  men  these  were,  who 
ate  little,  and  spent  their  time  in  prayer.  And  before  they 
departed,  she  believed  and  was  baptized,  with  all  her  house. 
Now  when  nine  months  had  elapsed,  Narcissus  and  his 
deacon,  finding  the  violence  of  persecution  had  abated,  re- 
turned into  Spain,  and  recommenced  their  work  of  converting 
the  heathen.  The  success  of  Narcissus  so  exasperated  them 
that  they  waylaid  him  and  assasinated  him.  When  king  Philip 
of  France  took  Gerona,  his  soldiers  pillaged  the  shrine  of 
S.  Narcissus,  whereupon  a  swarm  of  hornets  issued  from  it 
and  stung  them.  Consequently  in  art  he  is  represented 
with  hornets  issuing  from  his  tomb.     Relics  at  Gerona. 

•  In  the  Life  of  S.  Afra  (Aug.  5th),  it  will  be  shown  that  It  is  a  late  mistake  to  call 
her  a  courtesan. 

* * 

»i* _ . — jp, 

314  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  18. 

(a.d.  389.) 

[Roman,  Greek,  and  Syriac  Kalendars.  Authorities  : — Sozomen,  rl  heo- 
doret,  and  his  own  writings.] 

Cyril  succeeded  Maximus  in  the  patriarchal  see  of 
Jerusalem,  about  the  year  350.  The  story  that  Maximus 
was  deposed,  and  Cyril  substituted  by  Acacius,  Bishop 
of  Cesarea,  is  inconsistent  with  probabilities,  and  with 
the  testimony  borne  by  the  second  general  Council  to  the 
canonical  regularity  of  his  consecration.  The  other  tale, 
which  Jerome  credited,  that  Cyril  obtained  the  see  from 
Acacius  on  condition  of  disclaiming  the  ordination  which 
Maximus  had  bestowed,  is  utterly  incredible,  and  probably 
sprang  from  the  prejudices  of  a  rigid  party  which  mis- 
trusted Cyril. 

The  paschal  season  of  351  was  marked  at  Jerusalem  by 
the  luminous  appearance  of  a  cross,  which  appeared  in  the 
sky  over  the  city.  It  produced  a  great  impression,  and 
S.  Cyril  sent  an  account  of  it  to  Constantius.1 

Cyril,  a  man  of  gentle  spirit,  eminently  a  peace-maker, 
was  cast  in  times  of  great  difficulty.  The  Arian  party  was 
in  power,  through  the  favour  of  the  emperor ;  and  a  large 
number  of  prelates  were  semi-Arians ;  not  disbelieving  in 
the  divine  nature  of  Christ  as  consubstantial  with  the  Father, 
but  doubting  the  expedience  of  stating  the  doctrine  in  plain 
words  which  could  not  be  misunderstood.  All  who  were 
timorous,  not  thoroughly  illumined  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  and 
wanting  in  that  keenness  of  theological  discrimination  which 
makes  doctors  of  the  Church,  hesitated  and  temporised.    It 

1  The  genuineness  of  this  letter,  in  which  he  mentions  also  the  rinding  of  the 
cross,  has  been  doubted.  One  objection  is  that  it  contains  the  word  "consub- 
stantial," which  at  that  period  Cyril  would  hardly  have  used.  But  it  is  by  no 
means  improbable  that  this  word  was  interpolated  by  copyists,  for  the  purpose  of 
obtaining  the  authority  of  Cyril  for  that  term. 



March  18.]  .S*.   Cyril  of  Jerusalem.  315 

was  inexpedient  to  take  too  harsh  an  attitude  towards  these 
weak  brethren,  and  drive  them  into  the  arms  of  the  Arians, 
and  this  Cyril  felt  Firm  in  his  own  faith,  deprecating  the 
injudicious  fire  of  some  Catholics  who  were  resolved  at  all 
costs  to  produce  a  rupture  between  those  who  walked  in  the 
clear  light  of  Catholic  certainty,  and  those  who  fluttered  in 
the  twilight,  he  laboured  with  words  of  conciliation  to  avert 
such  a  catastrophe. 

At  the  end  of  357,  or  the  beginning  of  358,  an  important 
change  took  place  at  Jerusalem.  For  two  years  Cyril  had 
been  forced  into  opposition  to  the  demands  of  Acacius. 
He  maintained  for  Jerusalem,  as  the  mother  Chu*ch, 
possessing  an  "Apostolic  throne,"  and  marked  out  for 
honour  in  the  Nicene  Council,1  an  independence  of  Caesarea 
which  Acacius  would  not  grant ;  and  he  was  also  obnoxious 
to  Acacius  on  theological  grounds,  as  holding  the  orthodox 

Acacius  now  summoned  a  small  council  of  bishops  of  his 
own  party,  which  Cyril  declined  to  attend.  This  was 
regarded  as  contumacy;  and  he  was  gravely  accused  of 
having  committed  an  offence  in  selling  some  of  the  church 
ornaments  to  provide  food  for  the  famine-stricken  poor. 
Sozomen  says  that  he  sold  Church  treasures  and  sacred 
veils.  Theoderet  mentions  a  vestment  of  cloth  of  gold 
presented  by  Constantine  to  be  worn  by  the  bishop  when 
baptizing.  Such  an  accusation  does  Cyril  honour,  and 
ranks  him  with  other  illustrious  prelates,  Ambrose,  Augus- 
tine, Exuperius,  Gregory  the  Great,  Ethelwold  of  Win- 
chester, who  all  in  like  manner  sanctioned  the  principle  that 
the  law  of  love  is  the  highest  law  of  all.  It  is  worth  remark 
that  in  this  case,  as  in   that  of  S.  John  Chrysostom,   the 

1  Canon  VII.  "  Since  a  custom  and  old  tradition  has  obtained,  that  the  bishop 
of  iHlia  (Jerusalem)  should  receive  honour,  let  him  hold  the  second  place,  the 
metropo'itan  (ol  Caesarea)  being  secured  in  his  own  dignity." 

4* — -- — A* 


316  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  18. 

alliance  of  a  narrow  formalism  was  found,  not  with  ortho- 
doxy, but  with  heresy. 

By  the  synod  convened  by  Acacius,  Cyril  was  condemned 
and  expelled  from  Jerusalem.  He  appealed,  with  more 
formality,  as  it  appears,  than  had  been  usual  in  such  cases, 
to  "  a  higher  court  f  proceeded  to  Antioch,  where  he  found 
that  the  patriarch  Leontius  was  dead,  and  that  no  one  had 
been  appointed  his  successor ;  and  ultimately  found  a 
welcome  at  Tarsus,  where  Silvanus,  the  bishop,  one  of  the 
best  of  the  semi-Arians,  received  him,  in  disregard  of  the 
remonstrances  from  Acacius.  This  circumstance  brought 
Cyril,  for  the  next  few  years,  into  connection  with  the  semi- 
Arian  party;  and  he  illustrates  the  fact  that  it  contained 
men  of  whom  Athanasius  could  say,  in  his  noble  readiness 
to  discern  substantial  unity  under  verbal  difference,  "  We 
do  not  treat  as  enemies  those  who  accept  everything  else 
that  was  defined  at  Nicsea,  and  scruple  only  about  the  word 
consubstantial ;  for  we  do  not  attack  them  as  raging  Arians, 
nor  as  men  who  fight  against  the  fathers,  but  we  discuss  the 
matter  with  them  as  brothers  with  brothers,  who  mean  what 
we  mean,  and  differ  only  about  the  word." 

Considerable  excitement  had  been  caused  in  Antioch  in 
350  by  the  ordination  of  Aetius  as  deacon,  by  the  patriarch 
Leontius.  This  man,  the  most  odious  of  the  extreme 
Arians,  had  gone  through  many  changes  of  life,  as  a  vine- 
dresser's slave,  a  goldsmith,  a  medical  man,  a  guest  and 
pupil  of  Arian  bishops,  and  a  professor  of  that  disputatious 
logic  in  which  the  heresy  was  at  first  embodied.  He  was 
the  first  to  affirm  openly  that  the  Son  was  essentially  un- 
like the  Father.  Leontius  intended  his  diaconate  to 
be  a  means  of  propagating  Arianism.  But  Flavian  and 
Diodorus,  the  pillars  of  Catholicism  in  Antioch,  had 
threatened  formally  to  renounce  his  communion ;  and  he 
thought  it  best  to  depose  Aetius.     Now  Leontius  was  dead, 

*b • •{, 


March  is.]  S.   Cyril  of  Jerusalem.  317 

and  his  throne  was  filled  by  Eudoxius,  the  intriguing 
and  thoroughly  irreligious  bishop  of  Germanicia.  He 
gained  his  promotion  by  fraud,  and  the  aid  of  court 
eunuchs  ;  and  he  openly  patronized  Aetius,  whose  views 
he  had  imbibed.  The  state  of  confusion  and  discord  had 
become  intolerable,  and  a  General  Council  was  resolved 
upon.  Consultations  were  held  as  to  the  best  place ; 
and  Constantius  the  emperor  lent  his  ear  to  the  mis- 
chievous counsel  of  Acacius  and  his  party,  which  recom- 
mended the  breaking  the  single  council  into  two,  in  the 
hopes  of  being  able  thereby  to  "  divide  and  govern." 
Constantius  agreed,  and  Ancyra  and  Ariminum  were 
named  as  the  two  places.  But  Ancyra  was  afterwards 
thought  unsuitable,  and  it  was  decided  that  one  portion  of 
the  council  should  meet  at  Seleucia  instead  of  Ancyra. 

The  ultra-Arian  Valens  was  governing  in  the  West. 
Both  councils  met  in  359.  Four  hundred  bishops  of  the 
West,  including  some  from  Britain,  assembled  at  Ariminum. 
About  eighty  were  Arians,  for  the  most  part  of  the  advanced 

The  Easterns  met  at  Seleucia,  and  numbered  one 
hundred  and  sixty ;  of  these  the  great  majority,  one 
hundred  and  five,  were  semi-Arians,  and  of  the  rest  a  party 
were  shifty  followers  of  Acacius.  Only  one  small  party  of 
Egyptians  were  loyal  to  the  faith  of  Nicaea;  nevertheless 
the  council  of  Seleucia  restored  S.  Cyril  to  his  see,  annulled 
his  deposition  decreed  by  Acacius,  and  deposed  Acacius 
himself,  and  Eudoxius  of  Antioch. 

In  the  mean  time  trickery  and  violence  had  been  at 
work  at  Ariminum.  A  creed  approved  by  the  Arian 
emperor  was  sent  to  the  bishops,  and  they  were  most 
falsely  assured  on  imperial  authority,  that  the  council  of 
Seleucia  had  accepted  it  The  bishops'  patience  began  to 
give  way.     They  shrank  from  a  winter  on  the  shore  of  the 

3 18  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  18. 

Adriatic ;  they  were  utterly  weary  of  so  long  a  sojourn  at 
Ariminum,  and  their  weariness  disposed  them  to  con- 
cession. Bishop  after  bishop  signed  the  imperial  creed ; 
but  about  twenty  held  out,  headed  by  two  Gallicans, 
Phoebadius  and  Servatius.  Taurus,  the  emperor's  officer, 
appointed  to  keep  order  and  enforce  his  object,  tried  both 
menaces  and  tears.  At  last,  by  a  miserable  sophistry, 
Valens  carried  his  point,  and  won  for  Arianism  a  scandalous 
victory,  whilst  it  exposed  the  untruthfulness  which  character- 
ized the  Arian  policy. 

Acacius  had  returned  to  Constantinople  with  wrath  in  his 
heart,  resolved  to  ruin  the  semi-Arians  and  Cyril.  He 
persuaded  Constantius  to  allow  a  council  to  be  summoned 
to  meet  at  Constantinople  next  year,  January,  360.  About 
fifty  bishops  were  present  Acacius  ruled  the  assembly ; 
Aetius  was  made  a  scape-goat  by  the  Acacians  for  having 
too  boldly  given  expression  to  the  error  which  they  sought 
to  propagate  insidiously.  The  council  then  deposed  the 
leading  semi-Arians,  but  not  on  doctrinal  grounds.  Cyril  of 
Jerusalem,  and  Silvanus  of  Tarsus  were  deposed,  and  with 
the  emperor's  power  to  back  their  decisions,  they  were 
driven  into  banishment.  At  the  same  time  the  unreality  of 
their  censure  of  Aetius  was  shown  by  the  enthronement  of 
Eudoxius,  who  was  his  chief  supporter,  at  Constantinople, 
on  Jan.  27th.  On  Feb.  15th  he  dedicated  the  restored 
church  of  the  Eternal  Wisdom,  for  the  service  of  which 
Constantius  offered  splendid  vessels,  curtains,  altar-cloths, 
blazing  with  gold  and  jewels.  In  the  midst  of  the  cere- 
monial, Eudoxius  began  his  sermon  with  these  words, 
"The  Father  is  irreligious,  the  Son  is  religious."  A 
commotion  followed  ;  the  bishop  bade  the  people  calm 
themselves.  "Surely  the  Father  worships  none,  and  the 
Son  worships  the  Father !"  A  burst  of  laughter  followed 
this  speech,  which  became  a  good  jest  in  the  society  of  the 



March  18.]  S.   Cyril  of  Jerusalem.  319 

capital.  This  was  the  man  Acacius  and  his  packed  council 
had  set  up,  when  they  cast  down  Cyril.  Eudoxius  was  well 
fitted  to  hand  on  the  old  traditions  of  Arian  profanity. 

The  emperor  Constantius  died,  Nov.  3rd,  361,  and 
Julian  having  recalled  the  exiled  bishops,  S.  Cyril  returned 
to  his  see. 

The  unhappy  man  who  was  now  lord  of  the  empire  had 
been  for  some  ten  years  a  hypocrite  in  his  Christian  pro- 
fession. No  sooner  was  he  proclaimed  emperor,  than  he 
openly  professed  himself  a  restorer  of  the  old  religion. 
Then  it  was  that  he  "washed  off  the  laver"  of  baptism  by 
a  hideous  self-immersion  in  bull's  blood,1  and  sought  to 
cleanse  his  hands  from  the  touch  of  the  bloodless  Sacrifice 
by  holding  in  them  the  entrails  of  victims.  He  set  up  an 
image  of  Fortune  in  the  great  church,  and  while  he  was 
sacrificing  there,  Maris,  bishop  of  Chalcedon,  now  a  blind 
old  man,  was  led  up  to  him  at  his  own  request,  and  rebuked 
his  impiety.  "  Will  thy  Galilsean  God  cure  thy  blindness  ?" 
asked  Julian.  "  I  thank  my  God,"  said  Maris,  "  for  the 
blindness  which  saves  me  from  seeing  the  face  of  an 

The  last  of  Julian's  attacks  upon  Christianity  was  his 
attempt  to  rebuild  the  temple  of  Jerusalem.  He  did  indeed 
wish  to  aid  the  Jews  in  their  desire  of  renewing  the  Levitical 
sacrifices,  and  to  secure  their  attachment  to  his  government 
in  spite  of  its  paganism  ;  but  his  main  object  was  to  con- 
found the  Gospel  by  raising  up  the  fabric  which  it  had 
expressly  doomed,#and  thus  reviving  the  system  of  which 
that  fabric  had  been  the  symbol  and  centre. 

The  rapturous  hopes  of  the  Jews  were  expressed  in  the 

scene   which  followed   the  imperial  mandate,  when   silver 

spades  and  mattocks  were  employed,  and  earth  was  carried 

.away  from  the  excavations  in  the  rich  dresses  of  delicate 

*  lhe  Rite  of  Taurobolia,   Prudent.     Peristreph.  10. 


2 20  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  18. 

women.  The  faith  of  the  Christians  was  expressed  by 
Cyril's  denunciations  of  the  predestined  failure.  Full  of 
confidence  he  proclaimed  that  the  enterprise,  so  far  from 
succeeding,  would  prove  to  all  men  the  impossibility  of 
resisting  the  decree  of  God.  Great  must  have  been  his 
faith,  for  every  appearance  was  against  him.  The  heathen 
historian,  Ammianus  Marcellinus,  tells  us  what  ensued. 
After  all  possible  assistance  had  been  given  by  the  authori- 
ties, "  fearful  balls  of  fire  breaking  out  near  the  foundations 
with  repeated  attacks,  scorched  the  workmen  several  times, 
and  rendered  the  place  inaccessible ;  and  in  this  way,  after 
obstinate  repulses  by  the  fiery  element,  the  undertaking  was 
brought  to  a  stand."  Various  details  are  added  by  Chris- 
tian writers,  as  of  an  earthquake,  a  whirlwind,  fire  from 
heaven,  a  luminous  cross  in  the  air,  and  marks  of  crosses 
on  the  garments  of  the  Jews.  It  is  possible  that  in  these 
particulars  there  is  an  element  of  exaggeration,  and  that  in 
the  fiery  eruption  itself,  natural  agencies  were  employed. 
But  that  those  agencies  should  manifest  themselves  at  that 
particular  crisis  will  appear  accidental,  as  men  speak,  to 
those  only  who  do  not  estimate  the  exceeding  awfulness  of 
the  occasion, — the  unparalleled  historical  position  of  Julian, 
the  mystery  of  iniquity  in  his  general  policy,  and  the 
specially  anti-Christian  malignity  of  this  attempt  at  a 
confutation  of  Christ's  words. 

"  His  shafts,  not  at  the  Church,  but  at  her  Lord  addrest," 
might  well  be  cast  back  upon  himself  by  a  manifestation  of 
"  the  finger  of  God."  as  real  and  awe-inspiring  as  any  of 
those  natural  phenomena,  the  presence  of  which  under 
particular  circumstances  made  them  a  sign  of  judgment 
against  Pharaoh. 

Julian  promised,  in  his  vexation,  says  Orosius.  to  revenge 
his  failure  on  S.  Cyril  on  his  return  from  the  Persian  war. 
But  this  return  never  took  place.     Cyril  was  again  exiled 


March i8.j  S.   Finnian.  321 

by  the  Arian  emperor  Valens,  in  367.  He  returned  in  378, 
when  the  emperor  Gratian  ordered  the  restoration  of  the 
Catholics.  He  found  his  diocese  rent  by  schism,  corrupted 
by  heresy.  Adultery,  robbery,  and  poisoning  were  general. 
The  council  of  Antioch  in  379,  informed  of  the  deplorable 
condition  of  the  diocese,  sent  Gregory  of  Nyssa,  already 
charged  with  reforming  the  churches  of  Arabia,  to  assist 
him  in  pacifying  spirits,  and  repressing  immorality;  but 
his  labours  were  without  result.  In  381,  S.  Cyril  was  pre- 
sent at  the  General  Council  of  Constantinople,  and  subscribed 
the  condemnation  of  the  semi-Arians  and  Macedonians. 
He  died  in  386,  at  the  age  of  seventy. 

(a.d.  589.) 

[Roman  and  Irish  Martyrologies.  At  Lucca  the  feast  of  his  translation 
is  observed  on  Nov.  19th.  Authorities  : — Mention  in  life  of  S.  Enda, 
March  21st] 

S.  Finnian  of  Moville  is  mentioned  in  the  life  of  S. 
Enda  as  one  of  his  disciples  in  Aran,  the  Isle  of  Saints. 
This  remarkable  man  was  the  son  of  Ultach,  an  Irish  king, 
and  was  baptized  without  his  father's  consent.  He  was  first 
placed  under  the  care  of  S.  Colman  of  Dromore,  who 
nourished  about  the  year  510.  It  is  expressly  mentioned 
in  the  life  just  referred  to,  that  it  was  from  Aran  he  set  out 
on  his  pilgrimage  to  Rome.  This  was  probably  his  first 
visit  to  the  apostolic  See.  Being  of  an  active  temperament, 
he  there  devoted  himself  with  great  ardour  for  several  years 
to  the  study  of  the  ecclesiastical  and  apostolic  traditions.  He 
then  returned  to  Ireland,  carrying  with  him  a  rich  store  of 
relics  of  the  saints  given  him  by  the  pope,  and  the  penitential 
canons,  which  in   his  biographer's  time,  were   still  called 

VOL.    III.  21 

* * 

322  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  18. 

"  The  Canons  of  S.  Finnian."  He  also  brought  to  Ireland 
the  earliest  copy  of  S.  Jerome's  translations  of  the  Gospels; 
a  treatise  of  such  value  in  the  estimation  of  his  ecclesi- 
astical contemporaries,  that  the  records  of  this  period  very 
frequently  refer  to  them  as  S.  Finnian's  Gospels. 

In  540,  he  founded  the  great  monastery  of  Moville, 
where  S.  Columba  spent  a  portion  of  his  youth.  After 
labouring  with  energy  in  Ireland,  S.  Finnian  returned  to 
Italy,  where,  according  to  the  best  authorities,  he  was  made 
bishop  of  Lucca,  in  Tuscany,  in  which  Church  he  is  venerated 
under  the  name  of  Frigidian,  or  Fridian.  During  the 
twenty-eight  years  that  he  governed  the  see  of  Lucca,  he 
built  twenty-eight  churches ;  the  chief  of  these  he  dedicated 
to  the  three  holy  Levites,  but  it  has  since  borne  his  name. 
He  is  said  to  have  carried  a  huge  stone  towards  the  erection 
of  the  church,  which  none  else  could  lift.  It  is  still  pre- 
served in  the  church  as  a  monument  of  his  strength  and 
zeal.  S.  Gregory  the  Great  relates  a  story  of  his  miraculous 
power.  One  day  the  river  Arno  had  overflowed  the 
country,  devastating  the  fields.  The  saint  ran  a  plough 
down  to  the  flood,  and  it  recoiled  before  the  share. 

The  Italian  annals  give  588  as  the  year  of  his  death  ;  the 
annals  of  Ulster  and  Tigernach  589. 

(a.d.  572.) 

[Gallican  Martyrology,  Authority  : — S.  Gregory  of  Tours  (542)  his 

S.  Tetricus  was  the  son  of  S.  Gregory  of  Langres,  whose 
life  has  been  given  on  Jan.  4th.  His  mother's  name  was 
Armentaria.  By  her  S.  Gregory  had  two  sons,  Tetricus, 
who  succeeded  him  in  the  see  of  Langres,  and  Gregory,  the 

* -* 

* — — * 

March  18.]  S.   Tetricus.  323 

father  of  Armentaria,  mother  of  S.  Gregory  of  Tours,  the 
historian,  who  has  recorded  all  that  we  know  of  the  life  of 
his  great-uncle.  This  is  not  much.  The  choice  of  the 
clergy  and  people  fell  on  Tetricus  as  a  successor  to  his 
father,  almost  unanimously  moved  thereto  by  the  hopes 
that  he  would  inherit  the  virtues  of  S.  Gregory.  Nor  were 
these  hopes  frustrated.  Tetricus  ruled  with  prudence,  and 
was  a  burning  and  a  shining  light  in  his  diocese.  One 
Sunday  at  Dijon,  as  the  prelate  was  ministering  in  the 
Church  of  S.  John,  Chramn,  the  rebel  son  of  king  Clothaire, 
entered  it,  and  besought  that  he  might  be  allowed  to  con- 
sult the  divine  Oracles  on  the  future.  Three  books  were 
accordingly  placed  on  the  altar,  the  Prophets,  the  Gospel, 
and  the  Epistles ;  and  the  clergy  prayed  along  with  Chramn 
that  the  future  might  be  unfolded  to  him.  Then  he  opened 
the  book  of  the  Prophets,  and  lighted  on  the  words  of 
Isaiah,  v.  4,  5.  "What  could  have  been  done  more  to  my 
vineyard,  that  I  have  not  done  in  it  ?  Wherefore,  when  I 
looked  that  it  should  bring  forth  grapes,  brought  it  forth 
wild  grapes  ?  And  now,  go  to ;  I  will  tell  you  what  I  will 
do  to  my  vineyard :  I  will  take  away  the  hedge  thereof,  and 
it  shall  be  eaten  up  :  and  break  down  the  wall  thereof,  and 
it  shall  be  trodden  down."  Then  the  book  of  Epistles  was 
opened  at  the  place,  "  When  they  say,  Peace  and  safety ; 
then  sudden  destruction  cometh  upon  them,  as  travail  upon 
a  woman  with  child ;  and  they  shall  not  escape,"  1  Thess. 
v.  3 ;  and  the  book  of  the  Gospels  when  interrogated  gave 
the  following  answer,  Matt.  vii.  26,  27,  "A  foolish  man, 
which  built  his  house  upon  the  sand  :  and  the  rain  de- 
scended, and  the  floods  came,  and  the  winds  blew,  and  beat 
upon  that  house,  and  it  fell :  and  great  was  the  fall  of  it" 
Chramn  went  away  much  dispirited.  Shortly  after,  hearing 
that  his  father  was  marching  upon  Dijon,  he  retired  into 
Aquitaine,   but  being  pursued  by  Clothaire,  he   fled  into 

*— __ ^ 

* >J, 

3  24  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ia. 

Brittany  to  Count  Conovre.  Shortly 'after  Clothaire  attacked 
them  and  defeated  them  in  a  battle  in  which  the  count  fell. 
He  then  took  his  son  and  shut  him  up  in  a  cottage  with 
his  wife  and  children,  set  fire  to  the  place,  and  burnt  them 

S.  EDWARD,  K.  M. 

(A.D.      978.) 

[Anglican  Martyrologies,  also  modern  Anglican  Kalendar.  Roman 
Martyrology.  The  elevation  of  his  body,  June  20th  ;  his  translation,  Feb. 
18th.  Authorities  : — The  Chronicle  of  John  of  Brompton,  Osbern  of  Can- 
terbury, William  of  Malmesbury.] 

In  the  year  975,  King  Edgar  died,  and  was  buried  at 
Glastonbury.  He  had  been  twice  married.  His  first  wife 
was  the  beautiful  Ethelfleda,  who  died  shortly  after  the  birth 
of  her  son  Edward.  After  her  death  Edgar  married,  in  964, 
Elfrida,  daughter  of  Ordgar,  earl  of  Devonshire,  and  she 
became  the  mother  of  two  sons  by  him,  Edmund,  who  died 
young,  and  Ethelred.  As  soon  as  king  Edgar  was  dead, 
Edward,  who  was  thirteen  years  old,  a  good  youth,  upright 
in  all  his  dealings,  and  fearing  God,  was  elected  to  the 
crown,  much  to  the  discontent  of  Elfrida,  who  desired  to 
see  her  son  Ethelred  on  the  throne. 

In  the  year  978,  when  Edward  was  aged  seventeen,  he 
was  murdered.  Now,  certainly  he  was  not  a  martyr  for  the 
Christian  faith,  nor  for  right  and  truth  in  any  shape ;  but  he 
was  a  good  youth,  and  was  unjustly  and  cruelly  killed,  so 
people  looked  on  him  as  a  saint,  and  called  him  Edward 
the  Martyr.  The  Anglo-Saxon  Chronicle  greatly  laments 
his  death,  and  says  that  a  worse  deed  had  never  been  done 
since  the  English  came  into  Britain.  It  does  not,  however, 
say  who  killed  him,  but  only  that  he  was  killed  at  eventide, 
at  Corfe  Castle.       Henry  of   Huntingdon  says  that  king 

*— ■ * 


March,  p.  324.] 

[March  18. 

March  is.]  S.Edward.  325 

Edward  was  killed  by  his  own  people ;  Florence  of  Wor- 
cester, that  he  was  killed  by  his  own  people  by  order  of  his 
step-mother,  Elfrida.  William  of  Malmesbury,  in  one  part 
of  his  book,  says  he  was  killed  by  earl  Elfhere,  but  this  is 
improbable,  as  no  reason  for  such  an  act  appears.  But  in 
recording  his  death,  Malmesbury  attributes  the  crime  to  El- 
frida, and  tells  the  story  thus  : — 

When  Edward  was  elected,  Elfrida  hated  him,  because 
she  wished  her  own  son,  Ethelred,  to  be  king,  and  she  ever 
sought  how  she  might  slay  Edward.  Now,  one  day  the 
young  king  was  hunting  in  Dorsetshire,  hard  by  the  castle 
of  Corfe,  where  Elfrida  and  Ethelred  her  son  dwelt  And 
the  king  was  weary  and  thirsty,  so  he  turned  away  alone 
from  his  hunting,  and  said,  "  Now  will  I  go  to  rest  myself 
at  Corfe,  with  my  step-mother  Elfrida,  and  my  brother 
Ethelred."  So  king  Edward  rode  to  the  gate  of  the  house, 
and  Elfrida  came  out  to  meet  him,  and  kissed  him.  And 
he  said,  "  Give  me  to  drink,  for  I  am  thirsty."  And  Elfrida 
commanded,  and  they  brought  him  a  cup,  and  he  drank 
eagerly.  But  while  he  drank,  Elfrida  made  a  sign  to  her 
servant,  and  he  stabbed  the  king  with  a  dagger ;  and  when 
the  king  felt  the  wound,  he  set  spurs  to  his  horse,  and  tried 
to  join  his  comrades,  who  were  hunting.  But  he  slipped 
from  his  horse,  and  his  leg  caught  in  the  stirrup,  so  he  was 
dragged  along  till  he  died,  and  the  track  of  his  blood  showed 
whither  he  had  gone.  And  Elfrida  bade  that  he  should  be 
buried  in  Wareham,  but  not  in  holy  ground,  nor  with  any 
royal  pomp.  But  a  light  from  heaven  shone  over  his  grave, 
and  wonders  were  wrought  there.  But  when  the  child 
Ethelred  heard  of  his  brother's  murder,  he  began  to  cry  and 
bewail  him,  for  Edward  had  always  been  very  kind  to  the 
little  boy.  His  mother,  stung  by  her  conscience,  and  angry 
with  him  for  his  lamentations,  rushed  on  the  child  to  beat 
him,  and  having  no  stick  at  hand,  she  pulled  a  wax  candle 

* # 




Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  18. 

out  of  its  socket,  and  thrashed  him  with  it  But  afterwards, 
when  she  heard  of  the  mighty  works  which  were  done  at 
the  grave  of  king  Edward,  how  the  sick  were  healed,  and 
the  lame  walked,  she  resolved  to  go  and  see  the  miracles 
with  her  own  eyes.  But  when  she  mounted  her  horse  to 
ride,  the  horse  would  not  stir.  So  Elfrida's  hard  heart  was 
shaken,  and  she  became  alarmed  about  her  sin  that  she  had 
committed,  and  she  retired  into  the  convent  of  Wherwell, 
that  she  might  repent  in  ashes  the  wickednes  she  had  done. 
The  body  was  afterwards  translated  to  the  minster  at 
Shaftesbury  (June  20th). 

S.  Edward  is  usually  drawn  with  a  youthful  countenance, 
having  the  insignia  of  royalty,  with  a  cup  in  one  hand  and 
a  dagger  in  the  other.  Sometimes  he  has  a  sceptre  instead 
of  the  cup ;  and  at  other  times  a  falcon,  in  allusion  to  his 
last  hunt 



From  the  Vienna  Missal. 

March,  p.  326.] 

[March  19. 

* * 

March  i9.j  6\   yoseph.  327 

March  19. 

S.  Joseph,  Husband  of  the  B.  virgin  Mary,  before  a.d.  30. 

SS.  Quintus,  Quintillius,  and  Comp.,  MM.  at  Sorrento. 

S.  Pancharius,  M.  at  Nicomedia,  3rd  cent. 

S.  John,  Ab.  at  Ci-vita-di-Penne,  near  Spoleto,  4th  cent. 

S.  Lkontius,  B.  of  Saintes  in  France,  6th  cent. 

S.  Lactean,  Ab.  in  Ireland,  a.d.  622. 

SS.  Landoald,  P.C.,  Amantius,  D.,  and  Adrian,  M.  at  tyinteu- 

haven,  in  Belgium,  8th  cent. 
S.  Alkmund,  M.  at  Derby,  a.d.  800. 


(BEFORE    A.D.    30.) 

[Roman  Martyro'.ogy.  His  festival  was  ordered  by  pope  Sixtus  IV.  to 
be  observed  as  a  double  ;  Gregory  XV.  recommended  its  general  ob- 
servance by  the  faithful,  and  this  recommendation  was  confirmed  by 
Urban  XIII.,  by  bull  in  1642.] 

LL  we  know  for  certain  concerning  S.  Joseph, 
the  husband   of  Mary  the  mother  of   God,  is 
derived  from  the  Holy  Gospels.     To  him  was 
confided   the   most  precious  treasure   ever  en- 
trusted to  man,  the  guardianship  of  Mary  and  Jesus,  of  the 
Mother  and  the  Son  of  God ;  whence  we  may  infer  the  great 
sanctity  and  merit  of  S.  Joseph. 

He  was  of  the  lineage  of  David,  and  therefore  of  royal 
race,  but  was  poor,  and  gained  his  livelihood  as  a  carpenter. 
According  to  S.  Matthew  his  father's  name  was  Jacob, 
according  to  S.  Luke  it  was  Heli,  this  discrepancy  in  the 
accounts  is  explained  by  the  supposition  that  one  of  the 
genealogies  represents  the  direct  line  of  natural  generation, 
the  other  the  legal  descent  of  royal  prerogative.  We  are 
expressly  told  that  he  was  a  just  man.  On  perceiving  that 
his  virgin  wife  was  with  child,  he  resolved  secretly  to  put 

* * 

328  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  10. 

her  away,  for  having  lived  with  her  in  the  purest  relations, 
he  knew  that  the  child  could  be  none  of  his;  and  by 
secretly  divorcing  her,  he  would  spare  her  the  scandal 
which  would  attach  itself  to  her,  for  the  world  would  regard 
her  offspring  as  his  son,  and  he  alone  would  know  that  this 
was  not  the  case. 

But  he  was  warned  by  God  in  a  dream  to  believe  in  the 
innocence  of  his  wife,  and  was  told  that  she  was  to  become 
the  mother  of  the  Son  of  God.  Afterwards,  when  Herod 
sought  the  life  of  the  young  child,  he  took  Him  and  His 
mother  by  night  and  fled  with  them  into  Egypt,  till  hearing 
that  Herod  was  dead,  in  obedience  to  an  angelic  order,  he 
returned  to  Palestine ;  but  finding  that  Archelaus  the  son  of 
Herod  was  reigning  in  Judea,  he  thought  it  imprudent  to 
enter  his  dominions,  and  therefore  settled  at  Nazareth.  He 
and  Mary  went  once  every  year  to  Jerusalem  to  offer  their 
sacrifice  in  the  temple,  in  obedience  to  the  requirements  of 
the  law,  and  on  one  of  these  occasions  Jesus  accompanied 
them.  The  child  Jesus  grew  up  under  the  care  of  Joseph, 
assisting  him  in  his  shop.  It  is  believed  that  Joseph  died 
before  our  Lord  began  his  ministry ;  for  we  hear  of  him  no 

The  girdle  of  S.  Joseph  is  said  to  be  preserved  among  the 
sacred  treasures  of  the  church  of  Joinville,  in  the  diocese  of 


(3RD    CENT.) 

[Roman  Martyrology  and  Greek  Menaea.  Authority  : — The  account  in 
the  Menaea.] 

Pancharius,  a  young  Christian,  well-favoured,  and 
active,  having  gained  the  favour  of  the  emperor  Maximian, 
became  his  secretary.     His  mother  and  sister,  hearing  this, 

*- * 

^'Sk  ySm  \wm&> 


March,  p.  328.] 

[March  19. 


March  i9.]       6".  John  at  Civita-di-Penne.  329 

were  filled  with  anxiety  lest  his  soul  should  be  imperilled. 
They  therefore  wrote  to  him  a  letter  urging  him  not  to  be 
ashamed  of  Christ,  and  to  remember  that  it  profits  a  man 
little  to  gain  the  whole  world  if  he  lose  his  own  soul.  On 
reading  this  letter,  Pancharius  was  moved,  and  lifting  up  his 
voice  he  prayed  to  God,  "  Have  mercy  upon  me,  Almighty 
God,  and  bring  not  thy  servant  to  confusion  in  the  face  of 
men  and  angels,  but  according  to  thy  great  mercy,  spare 
me."  Some  one  overheard  this  prayer,  and  told  the 
emperor  that  his  favourite  was  a  Nazarene.  The  emperor 
sent  for  him  and  asked  him  if  this  were  true.  Then  the 
young  man  confessed  that  he  was.  The  emperor  urged  him 
to  renounce  his  religion.  But  as  Pancharius  refused,  he 
ordered  him  to  be  scourged,  and  sent  to  Nicomedia  to  be 
tried*  and  sentenced  by  the  governor.  At  Nicomedia  he 
was  subjected  to  fresh  interrogation,  but  maintaining  his 
constancy,  was  condemned  to  execution  by  the  sword. 


(4TH   CENT.) 

[Usuardus,  Ado,  Notker,  some  copies  of  Bede's  Martyrology,  and  the 
Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  :— An  ancient  life  published  by  the 
Bollandists,  but  evidently  founded  on  tradition.] 

The  life  of  this  saint  shall  be  translated  from  the  original, 
as  it  deserves,  from  its  quaint  simplicity  and  freshness. 

"  It  fell  out  in  those  days  that  as  the  blessed  John  was 
going  forth  from  Syria,  he  prayed,  saying,  'Lord  God  of 
heaven  and  earth,  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  Jacob,  and 
of  our  Fathers,  who  madest  heaven  and  earth  with  all  their 
adornments,  who  by  a  word  didst  suspend  the  sea,  who 
didst  close  the  abyss  and  sign  above  it  gloriously,  whose 
mighty  name  all  things  revere,  and  before  the  face  of  whose 

# — * 

* * 

330  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  i9. 

virtue  all  things  quake  ;  I  pray  Thee,  who  art  the  true  light, 
illumine  me  hoping  in  thee,  and  make  my  way  prosperous 
before  me,  in  which  I  go,  and  let  this  be  to  me  for  a  sign 
that  there  I  should  rest,  when  that  person  to  whom  I  give 
my  psalter  shall  not  return  it  to  me  the  self-same  day.' 

"And  it  came  to  pass  that  he  came  to  Italy,  and  was 
near  to  the  metropolitan  city  (of  Spoleto)  and  had  gone 
about  five  miles  into  the  Angellan  farm,  when  he  met  with 
a  certain  handmaiden  of  God,  and  he  gave  to  her  his 
psalter.  And  afterwards  he  asked  the  handmaid  for  it 
again,  and  she  said,  '  Servant  of  God,  whither  goest  thou  ? 
Tarry  here,  and  go  thy  way  to-morrow.'  And  when  they 
had  long  spoken,  she  insisted  that  he  should  remain  there 
that  night;  so  he  remained.  And  the  blessed  John 
remembered  his  prayer  that  he  had  made,  and  he  said  in 
his  heart,  '  Verily  this  is  what  I  besought  of  the  Lord  ;  here 
will  I  dwell.' 

"  So  when  the  morning  came,  having  received  his  psalter 
again,  he  went  forth  no  more  than  four  bow-shots.  And, 
behold  f  an  angel  of  God  appeared  to  him,  and  went  before 
him,  and  when  they  came  to  the  place,  the  angel  said  to 
him,  '  Sit  down  here,  servant  of  the  most  high  God,  for  the 
Lord  hath  commanded  thee  to  dwell  here,'  and  so  saying,  he 
led  him  under  a  tree  and  said,  '  Here  shalt  thou  have  a 
great  congregation,  and  find  rest.'  Then  S.  John,  the 
Confessor  of  Christ,  sat  down  under  the  tree. 

"  Now  it  was  the  month  of  December,  and  according  to 
the  custom  of  the  month,  it  froze  hard,  and  all  the  ground 
was  stiff;  but  the  tree  under  which  the  blessed  John 
reposed,  blossomed  as  the  lily.  And  at  that  time  hunters 
went  by,  and  they  found  him  sitting  under  the  tree,  and 
they  thought  that  he  was  a  spy,  and  they  questioned  him, 
saying,  '  Whence  comest  thou  ?'  Then  the  blessed  John  told 
them  all,  and  how  he  had  come  to  Italy.    So  they  marvelled 

tj« . ^ 


March  i9.]  ,£  Lactean. 


greatly,  for  they  had  never  seen  a  habit  like  his.  But  he 
said  to  them,  '  Do  not,  my  sons,  do  not  harm  me,  for  I  have 
come  here  in  the  service  of  Jesus  Christ.' 

"Then  they  observing  the  tree,  that  it  shone  as  a  lily, 
knew  that  the  Lord  was  with  him,  and  they  told  all  things  to 
the  bishop  of  Spoleto.  And  when  bishop  John  heard  this, 
he  was  filled  with  great  joy,  and  he  hasted,  and  went  to 
where  the  blessed  John  was  praying.  And  when  they  saw 
one  another,  for  joy  they  wept.  And  all  that  were  present 
gave  glory  to  God.  Now  through  the  mercy  of  God  many 
people  were  collected  there,  and  he  built  a  monastery,  and 
he  lived  therein  all  the  rest  of  the  days  of  his  life.  And  he 
was  there  forty  and  four  years,  and  he  fell  asleep  in  peace, 
and  was  buried  with  hymns  and  songs,  where  he  reposes  to 
this  day,  and  there  the  blind  receive  their  sight,  devils  are 
expelled,  lepers  are  cleansed,  and  the  divine  offices  are  there 
performed  to  the  present  day,  through  the  assistance  of 
Jesus  Christ,  our  Lord,  who  liveth  and  reigneth,  through 
ages.     Amen." 

(about  a.d.  622.) 

[Irish  Martyrologies.  Authority :— A  fragmentary  life  published  by  the 
Bollandists,  based  on  tradition.] 

The  legend  of  this  saint  comes  under  the  same  category 
as  so  many  of  the  other  Irish  legends.  It  exists  only  in 
fragments,  and  was  written  several  hundreds  of  years  after 
the  death  of  S.  Lactean,  from  oral  tradition.  It  shall  be 
given  without  any  attempt  at  sifting  truth  from  fable,  as  a 
specimen  of  these  Irish  biographies. 

An  angel  appeared  to  S.  Molua  (d.  about  608),  monk  of 
Banchor,  in  Ireland,  when  he  was  wondering  who  would 
become  his  pupil,  and  announced  to  him  that  after  the  lapse 


332  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  19. 

of  fifteen  years  a  child  would  be  born,  who  would  become 
his  disciple.  And  for  those  fifteen  years  Molua  did  not 
laugh,  being  instant  in  expectation.  Now  there  was  a  man 
in  Munster  named  Torphur,  who  had  a  wife  named  Senecha, 
and  she  was  with  child.  And  before  the  child  was  born, 
her  breasts  filled  with  milk.  An  old  man,  named  Mohe- 
math,  passed  by,  and  he  was  blind.  Then  Senecha  struck 
his  eyes  with  her  milk,  and  his  eyes  opened,  and  he  saw  so 
plain  that  the  city  of  Rome,  bathed  in  clear  light,  was  visible 
instantly  to  his  so  long  darkened  orbs. 

Now  when  Lactean  was  born,  Mohemath  was  near  at 
hand.  And  the  place  was  without  water.  So  Mohemath 
took  the  finger  of  the  new-born  babe,  and  with  it  signed  a 
cross  on  the  earth.  Then  instantly  a  fountain  burst  forth, 
and  therein  Lactean  was  baptized.  And  when  Lactean  was 
a  month  old,  he  was  taken  to  S.  Alpheus,  to  be  rebaptized, 
but  when  he  saw  the  child  full  of  the  grace  of  God,  he 
knew  that  he  had  already  been  bathed  in  the  laver  of  re- 
generation, and,  therefore,  he  refused  to  repeat  the  sacra- 
ment. Also  there  was  in  that  country  a  grain,  which  acted 
on  whomsoever  ate  thereof  as  an  emetic,  but  the  infant 
Lactean  was  fed  thereon,  and  was  none  the  worse,  for  indeed 
nothing  injured  him.  Now  a  grievous  murrain  broke  out 
amongst  the  cattle  of  his  father,  and  they  died.  But  there 
was  a  white  cow  with  a  red  face,  on  whose  milk  Lactean 
was  nourished,  and  this  cow  died.  Then  the  child  was 
carried  in  his  mother's  arms  to  the  dead  cow,  and  it  re- 
covered, and  her  milk  was  distributed  amongst  the  other 
cows,  and  they  recovered  of  their  disorder. 

Now  when  Lactean  was  aged  fifteen,  the  angel  Muriel, 
who  was  commissioned  to  be  his  guardian,  led  him  to 
Banchor,  and  S.  Comgal  gave  him  to  be  the  pupil  and  com- 
panion of  S.  Molua,  who  instructed  him  in  letters  and  the 
reading  of  the  Divine  Scriptures. 


March  i9.]     .SVS".  Landoald,  Amantius,&c.  333 

Afterwards  Lactean  went  to  S.  Mochuda,  and  as  he  drew 
nigh,  he  sent  and  asked  Mochuda  for  milk.  Then  Mochuda 
filled  a  vessel  with  pure  water,  and  signed  it,  and  it  became 
milk,  but  Lactean  took  it,  and  signed  it  again,  and  it  was 
reconverted  into  water.  Afterwards  Lactean  founded  the 
abbey  of  Clonfert,  and  he  died  in  the  odour  of  sanctity. 

It  is  evident  that  his  name  was  the  occasion  of  so  many 
milky  legends  attaching  themselves  to  it1 

Colgan  has  confounded  this  S.  Lactean  with  another  of 
the  same  name,  a  contemporary  of  S.  Senan  of  Iniscatthy, 
from  whom  the  church  of  Lis-lachtin,  in  Kerry,  took  its 
name,  and  who  died  about  the  year  560.  The  S.  Lactean 
of  Clonfert  belonged  to  the  house  of  Corpre  Muse,  of  Mus- 
kerry,  Cork,  and  was  a  friend  of  S.  Mochoemog  (Pulcherius), 
abbot  of  Achadur  (Aghour),  in  Kilkenny. 



(8th  cent.) 

[Belgian  Martyrologies.  S.  Landoald  is  venerated  especially  at  Ghent. 
Also  Roman  and  Gallican  Martyrologies.  The  translation  of  S.  Landoald 
is  commemorated  on  Dec.  ist,  and  the  elevation  on  June  13th.  The  ori- 
ginal Acts  were  lost  in  954,  and  by  order  of  Notker,  B.  of  Liege,  new  ones 
were  compiled  in  981,  by  one  Herdger,  abbot  of  Lobie,  who  died  1007.] 

S.  Amandus  having  resigned  the  see  of  Maestricht  into 
the  hands  of  S.  Remacle,  to  resume  his  first  vocation  of 
mission  work  in  the  Low  Countries,  went  to  Rome  to  obtain 
the  approval  of  his  design  by  pope  Martin.  The  pope  not 
only  approved  of  it,  but  gave  him  Landoald,  a  priest  of  the 
Roman  Church,  of  Lombard  family,  to  accompany  and 
assist  him  in  his  work.     S.  Amandus  was  also  joined  by  the 

1  Baine  is  the  common  Irish  for  milk,  but  there  Is  a  Welsh  word,  probably 
adopted  from  the  Latin,  Llzth,  which  means  milk. 


334  Lives  of  the  Saints.  'March  *•• 

deacon  Amantius.  They  left  Rome,  and  after  visiting  some 
of  the  monasteries  of  France,  arrived  in  the  country  between 
the  Meuse  and  the  Scheldt,  where  S.  Remacle  met  S.  Aman- 
dus,  and  persuaded  him  to  allow  him  to  keep  Landoald 
with  him  to  assist  him  in  the  work  of  evangelising  his 
diocese.  Landoald  had  a  large  field  for  the  exercise  of  his 
zeal  in  the  diocese  of  Maestricht,  only  partially  converted 
to  the  faith.  A  rich  man  named  Aper  gave  him  a  piece 
of  land  at  Wintershoven,  on  the  river  Herck,  to  the  west  of 
Maestricht,  where  he  built  a  church,  which  he  dedicated  to 
S.  Peter,  in  659.  Landoald  continued  his  labours  under  S. 
Theodard,  the  successor  of  S.  Remacle,  making  Winters- 
hoven his  head-quarters,  and  sending  from  time  to  time 
one  of  his  little  community  to  Maestricht  to  beg.  One  of 
his  disciples,  Adrian  by  name,  was  returning  from  his  quest 
of  alms,  when  he  was  waylaid  by  some  robbers,  and  mur- 
dered. S.  Landoald  did  not  long  survive  him,  and  there  is 
reason  to  believe  that  he  died  before  S.  Lambert  succeeded, 
in  the  see  of  Maestricht,  to  S.  Theodard,  who  was  martyred 
in  668.  He  was  buried  in  the  church  of  Wintershoven,  but 
his  body  was  taken  up  in  735,  and  transported  into  Maes- 
tricht, but  from  fear  of  the  Normans  it  was  concealed,  and 
taken  up  again  along  with  the  bodies  of  S.  Amantius  and 
S.  Adrian,  by  Euraculus,  bishop  of  Liege,  but  they  were 
claimed  by  the  monks  of  S.  Bavo,  at  Ghent,  who  were  pro- 
prietors of  Wintershoven,  and  the  bodies  were  translated  to 
Ghent  in  980. 

(a.d.  800.) 

[Anglican  Martyrologies.      Authorities  x — Florence  of  Worcester,    Wil- 
liam of  Malmesbury,  Simeon  of  Durham,  and  Thurgot  of  Durham.] 

A  great  discrepancy  exists  in  the  accounts  given  of  this 
saint     Malmesbury  is  certainly  not  to  be  trusted  in  his 



March  19.]  6".  Alkmund.  335 

relation,  and  we  must  follow  the  account  of  Simeon  of  Dur- 
ham. Ceolwulf,  king  of  Northumbria,  abdicated  in  737,  and 
was  succeeded  by  Egbert,  who  was  succeeded  in  758  by  his 
brother  Osulf,  who  was  killed  in  759,  leaving  a  son,  named 
Ethelwald.  He  was  succeeded,  not  by  his  son  Ethelwald, 
but  by  another  Ethelwald,  surnamed  Moll,  who  was  banished 
in  765,  when  Alcred,  son  of  Eanwin,  a  descendant  of  Ida, 
came  to  the  throne.  He  was  banished  in  774,  and  the 
crown  rested  on  the  head  of  Ethelred,  son  of  Ethelwald 
Moll,  who  was  banished  in  779,  and  succeeded  by  Ethel- 
wald, son  of  Osulf.  But  this  Ethelwald  was  killed  in  788, 
whereupon  Osred,  son  of  Alcred,  came  to  the  throne. 
Osred's  younger  brother  was  S.  Alkmund,  the  subject  of 
this  memoir.  But  Osred  was  deposed,  in  790,  by  Ethelred, 
son  of  Ethelwald  Moll,  who  had  been  exiled  in  779,  and 
this  king  put  Osred  to  death  in  792  ;  and  Alkmund,  in  800, 
was  murdered  by  order  of  king  Eardulf,  who  came  to  the 
throne  in  797,  after  the  assassination  of  Ethelred  in  796. 

Alkmund  had  spent  some  years  in  banishment  among  the 
Picts,  and  was  loved  and  revered  for  his  spotless  innocence 
and  gentleness  in  a  period  of  crime  and  violence.  Harps- 
field,  following  Radulph  Diceto,  says  Alkmund  fell  in  battle 
against  the  West  Saxons,  which  is  certainly  wrong.  He 
also  makes  Alkmund  the  son  of  Ethelred,  which  is  also  a 
mistake;  and  Malmesbury  calls  his  father  Alfred.  The 
name  probably  was  Alcfred. 

S.  Alkmund  was  buried  at  Lilleshut,  in  Shropshire,  but 
his  body  was  afterwards  translated  to  Derby,  and  he  is 
honoured  as  the  patron  of  that  town. 

* — * 



Lives  of  the  Saints. 

[March  20. 

March  20. 

S.  Joachim,  Father  of  the  B.  Firgin  Mary. 

SS.  Photina,  Joseph,  Victor,  and  Companions,  MM.,  rst  eer.t. 

S.  Archippus,  Companion  of  S.  Paul,  ut  cent. 

SS.  Paul,  Cyril,  and  Companions,  MM.  in  Syria. 

SS.  Alexandra,  Claudia,  and  Others,  MM.  at  Amisa,  4th  cent. 

S.  Urbicius,  B.  of  Mete,  circ.  a.d.  420. 

S.  Martin,  Archb.  of  Braga,  in  Portugal,  a.d.  580. 

S.  Cuthbert,  B.  of  Lindisfarne,  a.d.  687. 

S.  Herbert,  P.H.  in  an  island  of  Derwentivater,  a.d.  687. 

S.  Wulfram,  B.  of  Sens,  a.d.  741. 

SS.  John,  Sergius,  Cosmas,  and  Companions,  Monks  MM.  in  tKc 

Laura  of  S.  Sabas,  near  Jerusalem,  a.d.  797. 
S.  Nicetas,  B.M.  at  Apollonia,  8th  cent. 
B.  Ambrose,  O.P.  at  Sienna,  a.d.  1287. 
B.  HippolytusGalantini,  Founder  of  the  Institute  of  Christian 

Brothers,  at  Florence,  a.d.  1619. 


[Roman  Martyrology ;  by  the  Greeks  on  Sept.  9th.  The  insertion  of 
this  name  in  the  Martyrologies  is  not  earlier  than  the  16th  century.  Tha 
Roman  Breviary  of  1522,  pub.  at  Venice,  contained  it  with  special  office, 
but  this  was  expunged  by  pope  Pius  V.,  and  in  the  Breviary  of  1572, 
neither  name  nor  office  are  to  be  found.J 

5"Vi|*tfW0THING  whatever  is  known  of  S.  Joachim,  ex- 
jIv^SE  cePt  wnat  *s  related  in  the  Apocryphal  Gospels, 
IrH^I  wlience  tne  name  is  derived.  It  is  possible, 
mffir^iffj  however,  that  the  name  was  traditionally  pre- 
served, and  adopted  by  the  author  of  the  Apocryphal 



* — * 

March  20.]  ,S.    Cuthbert.  337 

(a.d.  687.) 

[Martyrologiesof  Bede,  Usuardus,  Ado,  Rabanus  Maurus  ;  the  Anglican, 
Scottish,  and  Irish  Martyrologies  ;  the  Benedictine  and  the  Roman  as  welL 
Authorities  : — Bede's  Life  of  S.  Cuthbert,  another  by  a  monk  of  Lindis- 
farne,  written  in  the  reign  of  Egfrid  (d.  705).  The  following  life  is  ex- 
tracted from  Montalembert's  "  Monks  of  the  West."] 

Of  the  parentage  of  Cuthbert,  nothing  for  certain  is 
known.  The  Kelts  have  claimed  him  as  belonging  to 
them,  at  least  by  birth.  They  made  him  out  to  have  been 
the  son  of  an  Irish  princess,  reduced  to  slavery,  like  Bridget, 
the  holy  patroness  of  Ireland,  but  who  fell,  more  miserably, 
victim  to  the  lust  of  her  savage  master.  His  Celtic  origin 
would  seem  to  be  more  conclusively  proved  by  his  attitude 
towards  S.  Wilfrid,  the  introducer  of  Roman  uniformity  into 
the  north  of  England,  than  by  the  tradition  of  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  monks  of  Durham.  His  name  is  certainly  Saxon, 
and  not  Keltic.  But,  to  tell  the  truth,  nothing  is  certainly 
known  either  of  his  place  of  birth,  or  the  rank  of  his 

His  first  appearance  in  history  is  as  a  shepherd  in  Lauder- 
dale, a  valley  watered  by  a  river  which  flows  into  the  Tweed 
near  Melrose.  It  was  then  a  district  annexed  to  the  king- 
dom of  Northumbria,  which  had  just  been  delivered  by  the 
holy  king  Oswald  from  the  yoke  of  the  Mercians  and 
Britons.  As  he  is  soon  afterwards  to  be  seen  travelling  on 
horseback,  lance  in  hand,  and  accompanied  by  a  squire,  it 
is  not  to  be  supposed  that  he  was  of  poor  extraction.  At 
the  same  time,  it  was  not  the  flocks  of  his  father  which  he 
kept,  as  did  David  in  the  plains  of  Bethlehem ;  it  is  ex- 
pressly noted  that  the  flocks  confided  to  his  care  belonged 
to  a  master,  or  to  several  masters.  His  family  must  have 
been  in  the  rank  of  those  vassals  to  whom  the  great  Saxon 

VOL.    III.  22 

* -ij, 

►J, * 

338  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March*.. 

lords  gave  the  care  and  superintendence  of  their  flocks  upon 
the  vast  extent  of  pastures  which,  under  the  name  of  folc- 
land  or  common,  was  left  to  their  use,  and  where  the  cow- 
herds and  shepherds  lived  day  and  night  in  the  open  air,  as 
is  still  done  by  the  shepherds  of  Hungary. 

Popular  imagination  in  the  north  of  England,  of  which 
Cuthbert  was  the  hero  before,  as  well  as  after,  the  Norman 
Conquest,  had  thus  full  scope  in  respect  to  the  obscure 
childhood  of  its  favourite  saint,  and  delighted  in  weaving 
stories  of  his  childish  sports,  representing  him  as  walking 
on  his  hands,  and  turning  somersaults  with  his  little  com- 
panions. A  more  authentic  testimony,  that  of  his  contem- 
porary, Bede,  informs  us  that  our  shepherd  boy  had  not  his 
equal  among  the  children  of  his  age,  for  activity,  dexterity, 
and  boldness  in  the  race  and  fight.  In  all  sports  and  athletic 
exercises  he  was  the  first  to  challenge  his  companions,  with 
the  certainty  of  being  the  victor.  The  description  reads 
like  that  of  a  little  Anglo-Saxon  of  our  own  day — a  scholar 
of  Eton  or  Harrow.  At  the  same  time,  a  precocious  piety 
showed  itself  in  him,  even  amid  the  exuberance  of  youth. 
One  night,  as  he  said  his  prayers,  while  keeping  the  sheep 
of  his  master,  he  saw  the  sky,  which  had  been  very  dark, 
broken  by  a  track  of  light,  upon  which  a  cloud  of  angels 
descended  from  heaven,  returning  afterwards  with  a  resplen- 
dent soul,  which  they  had  gone  to  meet  on  earth.  Next 
morning  he  heard  that  Aidan,  the  holy  bishop  of  Lindis- 
farne,  the  apostle  of  the  district,  had  died  during  the  night. 
This  vision  determined  his  monastic  vocation. 

Some  time  afterwards  we  find  him  at  the  gates  of  the 
monastery  of  Melrose,  the  great  Keltic  establishment  for 
novices  in  Northumbria.  He  was  then  only  fifteen,  yet, 
nevertheless,  he  arrived  on  horseback,  lance  in  hand,  at- 
tended by  a  squire,  for  he  had  already  begun  his  career  in 
the  battle-field,  and  learned  iD   the  face  of  the  enemy  the 

« ft 

# — X 

March  30.]  6".  Cuthbert.  339 

first  lessons  of  abstinence,  which  he  now  meant  to  practise 
in  the  cloister.  He  was  received  by  two  great  doctors  of 
the  Keltic  Church, — the  abbot  Eata,  one  of  the  twelve 
Northumbrians  first  chosen  by  Aidan,  and  the  prior  Boswell, 
who  conceived  a  special  affection  for  the  new-comer,  and 
undertook  the  charge  of  his  monastic  education.  Five 
centuries  later,  the  copy  of  the  Gospels  in  which  the  master 
and  pupil  had  read  daily,  was  still  kissed  with  veneration  in 
the  cathedral  of  Durham. 

The  robust  and  energetic  youth  very  soon  showed  the 
rarest  aptitude  for  monastic  life,  not  only  for  cenobitical 
exercises,  but,  above  all,  for  the  missionary  work,  which  was 
the  principal  occupation  of  monks  in  that  country  and 
period.  He  was  not  content  merely  to  surpass  all  the  other 
monks  in  his  devotion  to  the  four  principal  occupations  of 
monastic  life — study,  prayer,  vigil,  and  manual  labour — but 
speedily  applied  himself  to  the  work  of  casting  out  from 
the  hearts  of  the  surrounding  population  the  last  vestiges  of 
pagan  superstition.  Not  a  village  was  so  distant,  not  a 
mountain  side  so  steep,  not  a  village  so  poor,  that  it  escaped 
his  zeal.  He  sometimes  passed  weeks,  and  even  months, 
out  of  his  monastery,  preaching  to  and  confessing  the  rustic 
population  of  the  mountains.  The  roads  were  very  bad, 
or  rather  there  were  no  roads ;  only  now  and  then  was  it 
possible  to  travel  on  horseback ;  sometimes,  when  his  course 
lay  along  the  coast  of  the  district  inhabited  by  the  Picts,  he 
would  take  the  help  of  a  boat.  But  generally  it  was  on  foot 
that  he  had  to  penetrate  into  the  glens  and  distant  valleys, 
crossing  the  heaths  and  vast  table-lands,  uncultivated  and 
uninhabited,  where  a  few  shepherd's  huts,  like  that  in  which 
he  himself  had  passed  his  childhood,  and  which  were  in 
winter  abandoned  even  by  the  rude  inhabitants,  were  thinly 
scattered.  But  neither  the  intemperance  of  the  seasons, 
nor  hunger,  nor  thirst,  arrested  the  young  and  valiant  mis- 

* * 

* — * 

340  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

sionary  in  his  apostolic  travels,  to  seek  the  scattered  popu- 
lation, half  Celts,  and  half  Anglo-Saxons,  who,  though 
already  Christian  in  name  and  by  baptism,  retained  an  ob- 
stinate attachment  to  many  of  their  ancient  superstitions, 
and  who  were  quickly  led  back  by  any  great  calamity,  such 
as  one  of  the  great  pestilences  which  were  then  so  frequent, 
to  the  use  of  magic,  amulets,  and  other  practices  of  idolatry. 
The  details  which  have  been  preserved  of  the  wonders 
which  often  accompanied  his  wanderings,  show  that  his 
labours  extended  over  all  the  hilly  district  between  the  two 
seas — from  the  Solway  to  the  Forth.  They  explain  to  us 
how  the  monks  administered  the  consolations  and  the  teach- 
ing of  religion,  before  the  organization  of  parishes,  ordained 
by  archbishop  Theodore,  had  been  everywhere  introduced 
or  regulated.  As  soon  as  the  arrival  of  one  of  these  apos- 
tolic missionaries  in  a  somewhat  central  locality  was  known, 
all  the  population  of  the  neighbourhood  hastened  to  hear 
him,  endeavouring  with  fervour  and  simplicity  to  put  in 
practice  the  instruction  they  received  from  him.  Cuthbert, 
especially,  was  received  among  them  with  affectionate  con- 
fidence ;  his  eloquence  was  so  persuasive  that  it  brought 
the  most  rebellious  to  his  feet,  to  hear  their  sins  revealed  to 
them,  and  to  accept  the  penance  which  he  imposed  upon 

Cuthbert  prepared  himself  for  preaching  and  the  admin- 
istration of  the  Sacraments,  by  extraordinary  penances  and 
austerities.  Stone  bathing-places,  in  which  he  passed  the 
entire  night  in  prayer,  lying  in  the  frozen  water,  according 
to  a  custom  common  among  the  Keltic  saints,  are  still  shown 
in  several  different  places.  When  he  was  near  the  sea,  he 
went  to  the  shore,  unknown  to  any  one,  at  night,  and  plung- 
ing into  the  waves  up  to  his  neck,  sang  his  vigils  there.  As 
soon  as  he  came  out  of  the  water  he  resumed  his  prayers  on 
the  sand  of  the  beach.     On  one  occasion,  one  of  his  dis- 

« g 

March  .o.j  ,S.  Cuthbert.  34 1 

ciples,  who  had  followed  him  secretly  in  order  to  discover 
the  aim  of  this  nocturnal  expedition,  saw  two  otters  come 
up  out  of  the  water,  which,  while  the  saint  prayed  on  his 
knees,  lick  his  frozen  feet,  and  wipe  them  with  their 
hair,  until  life  and  warmth  returned  to  the  benumbed  mem- 
bers. By  one  of  those  strange  caprices  of  human  frivolity 
which  disconcert  the  historian,  this  insignificant  incident  is 
the  only  recollection  which  now  remains  in  the  memory  of 
the  people.  S.  Cuthbert  is  known  to  the  peasant  of  North- 
umberland and  of  the  Scottish  borders  only  by  the  legend 
of  those  compassionate  otters. 

He  had  been  some  years  at  Melrose,  when  the  abbot 
Eata  took  him  along  with  him  to  join  the  community  of 
Keltic  monks  established  by  king  Alchfrid  at  Ripon.  Cuth- 
bert held  the  office  of  steward,  and  in  this  office  showed  the 
same  zeal  as  in  his  missions.  When  travellers  arrived 
through  the  snow,  famished  and  nearly  fainting  with  cold, 
he  himself  washed  their  feet  and  warmed  them  against  his 
bosom,  then  hastened  to  the  oven  to  order  bread  to  be 
made  ready,  if  there  was  not  enough. 

Cuthbert  returned  with  his  countrymen  to  Melrose,  re- 
sumed his  life  of  missionary  preaching,  and  again  met  his 
friend  and  master,  the  prior  Boswell,  at  whose  death,  in  the 
great  pestilence  of  664,  Cuthbert  was  elected  abbot  in  his 
place.  He  had  been  himself  attacked  by  the  disease ;  and 
all  the  monks  prayed  earnestly  that  his  life  might  be  pre- 
served to  them.  When  he  knew  that  the  community  had 
spent  the  night  in  prayer  for  him,  though  he  felt  no  better, 
he  cried  to  himself,  with  a  double  impulse  of  his  habitual 
energy,  "  What  am  I  doing  in  bed  ?  It  is  impossible  that 
God  should  shut  His  ears  to  such  men.  Give  me  my  staff 
and  my  shoes."  And  getting  up,  he  immediately  began  to 
walk,  leaning  upon  his  staff.  But  this  sudden  cure  left  him 
subject  to  weakness,  which  shortened  his  life. 

,j, — * 


342  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

However,  he  had  not  long  to  remain  at  Melrose.  The 
triumph  of  Wilfrid  and  the  Roman  ritual  at  the  conference 
of  Whitby,  brought  about  a  revolution  in  the  monastic 
metropolis  of  Northumbria,  and  in  the  mother  monastery  of 
Melrose,  at  Lindisfarne.  Bishop  Colman  had  returned  to 
Iona,  carrying  with  him  the  bones  of  S.  Aidan,  the  first 
apostle  of  the  country,  and  followed  by  all  the  monks  who 
would  not  consent  to  sacrifice  their  Keltic  tradition  to 
Roman  unity.  It  was  of  importance  to  preserve  the  holy 
island,  the  special  sanctuary  of  the  country,  for  the  religious 
family  of  which  its  foundress  had  been  a  member.  Abbot 
Eata  of  Melrose  undertook  this  difficult  mission.  He 
became  abbot  of  Lindisfarne,  and  was  invested  with  a  kind 
of  episcopal  supremacy.  He  took  with  him  the  young 
Cuthbert,  who  was  not  yet  thirty,  but  whom,  however,  he 
held  alone  capable  of  filling  the  important  office  of  prior  in 
the  great  insular  community. 

The  struggle  into  which  Eata  and  Cuthbert,  in  their  own 
persons,  had  entered  against  Wilfrid,  on  the  subject  of 
Roman  rites,  did  not  point  them  out  as  the  best  men  to 
introduce  the  novelties  so  passionately  defended  and  insisted 
upon  by  the  new  bishop  of  Northumbria.  Notwithstanding, 
everything  goes  to  prove  that  the  new  abbot  and  prior  of 
Lindisfarne  adopted  without  reserve  the  decisions  of  the 
assembly  of  Whitby,  and  took  serious  pains  to  introduce 
them  into  the  great  Keltic  community.  Cuthbert,  in  whom 
the  physical  energy  of  a  robust  organization  was  united  to 
an  unconquerable  gentleness,  employed  in  this  task  all  the 
resources  of  his  mind  and  heart.  All  the  rebels  had  not 
left  with  bishop  Colman ;  some  monks  still  remained,  who 
held  obstinately  by  their  ancient  customs.  Cuthbert  rea- 
soned with  them  daily  in  the  meetings  of  the  chapter ;  his 
desire  was  to  overcome  their  objections  by  patience  and 
moderation  alone ;  he  bore  their  reproaches  as  long  as  that 

* -# 

£, — — * 

March ao]  S.  Cuthbert.  343 

was  possible,  and  when  his  endurance  was  at  an  end,  raised 
the  sitting  without  changing  countenance  or  tone,  and  re- 
sumed next  morning  the  course  of  the  debate,  without  ever 
permitting  himself  to  be  moved  to  anger,  or  allowing  any- 
thing to  disturb  the  inestimable  gift  of  kindness  and  light 
heartedness  which  he  had  received  from  God. 

But  his  great  desire  was  the  strict  observance  of  the  rule 
when  once  established ;  and  his  historian  boasts,  as  one  of  his 
most  remarkable  victories,  the  obligation  he  imposed  for  ever 
upon  the  monks  of  Lindisfarne  of  wearing  a  simple  and  uni- 
form dress,  in  undyed  wool,  and  thus  giving  up  the  passionate 
liking  of  the  Anglo-Saxons  for  varied  and  brilliant  colours. 

During  the  twelve  years  which  he  passed  at  Lindisfarne, 
the  life  of  Cuthbert  was  identical  with  that  which  he  had 
led  at  Melrose.  Within  doors  this  life  was  spent  in  the 
severe  practice  of  all  the  austerities  of  the  cloister,  in  manual 
labour,  united  to  the  punctual  celebration  of  divine  worship, 
and  such  fervour  in  prayer  that  he  often  slept  only  one 
night  in  the  three  or  four,  passing  the  others  in  prayer,  and 
in  singing  the  service  alone  while  walking  round  the  aisle  to 
keep  himself  awake.  Outside,  the  same  zeal  for  preaching, 
the  same  solicitude  for  the  salvation  and  well-being,  tem- 
poral as  well  as  spiritual,  of  the  Northumbrian  people,  was 
apparent  in  him.  He  carried  to  them  the  Word  of  Life ; 
he  soothed  their  sufferings,  by  curing  miraculously  a  crowd 
of  diseases  which  were  beyond  the  power  of  the  physicians. 
But  the  valiant  missionary  specially  assailed  the  diseases  of 
the  soul,  and  made  use  of  all  the  tenderness  and  all  the 
ardour  of  his  own  spirit  to  reach  them.  When  he  cele- 
brated mass  before  the  assembled  crowd,  his  visible  emotion, 
his  inspired  looks,  his  trembling  voice,  all  contributed  to 
penetrate  and  over-power  the  multitude.  The  Anglo-Saxon 
Christians,  who  came  in  crowds  to  open  their  hearts  to  him 
in  the  confessional,  were  still  more  profoundly  impressed. 

* # 


344  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

Though  he  was  a  bold  and  inflexible  judge  of  impenitent 
vice,  he  felt  and  expressed  the  tenderest  compassion  for  the 
contrite  sinner.  He  was  the  first  to  weep  over  the  sins 
which  he  pardoned  in  the  name  of  God ;  and  he  himself 
fulfilled  the  penances  which  he  imposed  as  the  conditions  of 
absolution,  thus  gaining  by  his  humility  the  hearts  which  he 
longed  to  convert  and  cure. 

But  neither  the  life  of  a  cenobite,  nor  the  labours  of  a 
missionary  could  satisfy  the  aspirations  of  his  soul  after 
perfection.  "When  he  was  not  quite  forty,  after  holding  his 
priorship  at  Lindisfarne  for  twelve  years,  he  resolved  to 
leave  monastic  life,  and  to  live  as  a  hermit  in  a  sterile  and 
desert  island,  visible  from  Lindisfarne,  which  lay  in  the 
centre  of  the  Archipelago,  south  of  the  holy  isle,  and 
almost  opposite  the  fortified  capital  of  the  Northumbrian 
kings  at  Bamborough.  No  one  dared  to  live  on  this  island, 
which  was  called  Fame,  in  consequence  of  its  being  supposed 
to  be  the  haunt  of  demons.  Cuthbert  took  possession  of 
it  as  a  soldier  of  Christ,  victorious  over  the  tyranny  of  evil, 
and  built  there  a  palace  worthy  of  himself,  hollowing  out  of 
the  living  rock  a  cell  from  which  he  could  see  nothing  but 
the  sky,  that  he  might  not  be  disturbed  in  his  contem- 
plations. The  hide  of  an  ox  suspended  before  the  entrance 
of  his  cavern,  and  which  he  turned  according  to  the 
direction  of  the  wind,  afforded  him  a  poor  defence  against 
the  intemperance  of  that  wild  climate.  His  holy  historian 
tells  us  that  he  exercised  sway  over  the  elements  and  brute 
creation  as  a  true  monarch  of  the  land  which  he  had 
conquered  for  Christ,  and  with  that  sovereign  empire  over 
nature  which  sin  alone  has  taken  from  us.  He  lived  on  the 
produce  of  a  little  field  of  barley  sown  and  cultivated  by  his 
own  hands,  but  so  small  that  the  inhabitants  of  the  coast 
reported  among  themselves  that  he  was  fed  by  angels  with . 
bread  made  in  Paradise. 

4< — * 


In  his  Hermit's  CelL 

March,  p.  344.] 

[March  ao. 

March  «o.]  S.  Cuthbert.  345 

The  legends  of  Northumbria  linger  lovingly  upon  the 
solitary  sojourn  of  their  great  national  and  popular  saint  in 
this  basaltic  isle.  They  attribute  to  him  the  extraordinary 
gentleness  and  familiarity  of  a  particular  species  of  aquatic 
birds  which  came  when  called,  allowed  themselves  to  be 
taken,  stroked,  caressed,  and  whose  down  was  of  remark- 
able softness.  In  ancient  times  they  swarmed  about  this 
rock,  and  they  are  still  to  be  found  there,  though  much 
diminished  in  number  since  curious  visitors  have  come  to 
steal  their  nests  and  shoot  the  birds.  These  sea  fowl  are 
found  nowhere  else  in  the  British  Isles,  and  are  called  the 
Birds  of  S.  Cuthbert.  It  was  he,  according  to  the  narrative 
of  a  monk  of  the  thirteenth  century,  who  inspired  them  with 
a  hereditary  trust  in  man  by  taking  them  as  companions  of 
his  solitude,  and  guaranteeing  to  them  that  they  should 
never  be  disturbed  in  their  homes. 

It  is  he,  too,  according  to  the  fishers  of  the  surrounding 
islands,  who  makes  certain  little  shells  of  the  genus  En- 
trochus,  which  are  only  to  be  found  on  this  coast,  and  which 
have  received  the  name  of  S.  Cuthbert's  Beads.  They 
believe  that  he  is  still  to  be  seen  by  night  seated  on  a  rock, 
and  using  another  as  an  anvil  for  his  work. 

The  pious  anchorite,  however,  in  condemning  himself  to 
the  trials  of  solitude,  had  no  intention  of  withdrawing  from 
the  cares  of  fraternal  charity.  He  continued  to  receive 
frequent  visits,  in  the  first  place  from  his  neighbours  and 
brethren  at  Lindisfarne,  and  in  addition  from  all  who  came 
to  consult  him  upon  the  state  of  their  souls,  as  well  as  to 
seek  consolation  from  him  in  adversity.  The  number  of 
these  pilgrims  of  sorrow  was  countless.  They  came  not 
only  from  the  neighbouring  shores,  but  from  the  most 
distant  provinces.  Throughout  all  England  the  rumour 
spread,  that  on  a  desert  rock  of  the  Northumbrian  coast 
there  lived  a  solitary  who  was  the  friend  of  God,  and  skilled 

* * 


346  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

in  the  healing  of  human  suffering.  In  this  expectation  no 
one  was  deceived ;  no  man  carried  back  from  the  sea- 
beaten  island  the  same  burden  of  suffering,  temptation,  or 
remorse  which  he  had  taken  there.  Cuthbert  had  conso- 
lation for  all  troubles,  light  for  all  the  sorrowful  mysteries 
of  life,  counsel  for  all  its  perils,  a  helping  hand  to  all  the 
hopeless,  a  heart  open  to  all  who  suffered.  He  could  draw 
from  all  terrestrial  anguish  a  proof  of  the  joys  of  heaven, 
deduce  the  certainty  of  those  joys  from  the  terrible  evan- 
escence of  both  good  and  evil  in  this  world,  and  light  up 
again  in  sick  souls  the  fire  of  charity — the  only  defence,  he 
said,  against  those  ambushes  of  the  old  enemy  which  always 
take  our  hearts  captive  when  they  are  emptied  of  divine  and 
brotherly  love. 

To  make  his  solitude  more  accessible  to  these  visitors, 
and  above  all  to  his  brethren  from  Lindisfarne,  he  had 
built  some  distance  from  the  cave  which  was  his  dwelling, 
at  a  place  where  boats  could  land  their  passengers,  a 
kind  of  parlour  and  refectory  for  the  use  of  his  guests. 
There  he  himself  met,  conversed,  and  ate  with  them, 
especially  when,  as  he  has  himself  told,  the  monks  came 
to  celebrate  with  him  such  a  great  feast  as  Christmas.  At 
such  moments  he  went  freely  into  all  their  conversa- 
tions and  discussions,  interrupting  himself  from  time  to 
time  to  remind  them  of  the  necessity  of  watchfulness  and 
prayer.  The  monks  answered  him,  "  Nothing  is  more 
true;  but  we  have  so  many  days  of  vigil,  of  fasts  and 
prayers.  Let  us  at  least  to-day  rejoice  in  the  Lord."  The 
Venerable  Bede,  who  has  preserved  to  us  the  precious 
memory  of  this  exchange  of  brotherly  familiarity  has  not 
disdained  to  tell  us  also  of  the  reproaches  addressed  by 
Cuthbert  to  his  brothers  for  not  eating  a  fat  goose  which  he 
had  hung  on  the  partition-wall  of  his  guest's  refectory,  in 
order  that  they  might  thoroughly  fortify  themselves  before 


* * 

March  20.]  S.  Cuthbert.  347 

they  embarked  upon  the  stormy  sea  to  return  to  their 

This  tender  charity  and  courteous  activity  were  united  in 
him  to  treasures  of  humility.  He  would  not  allow  any  one 
to  suspect  him  of  ranking  the  life  of  an  anchorite  above  that 
of  a  member  of  a  community.  "  It  must  not  be  supposed," 
he  said,  "  because  I  prefer  to  live  out  of  reach  of  every 
secular  care,  that  my  life  is  superior  to  that  of  others.  The 
life  of  good  cenobites,  who  obey  their  abbot  in  everything, 
and  whose  time  is  divided  between  prayer,  work,  and  fast- 
ing is  much  to  be  admired.  I  know  many  among  them 
whose  souls  are  more  pure,  and  their  graces  more  exalted 
than  mine;  especially,  and  in  the  first  rank  my  dear  old 
Boswell,  who  received  and  trained  me  at  Melrose  in  my 

Thus  passed,  in  that  dear  solitude,  and  among  these 
friendly  surroundings,  eight  pleasant  years,  the  sweetest  of 
his  life,  and  precisely  those  during  which  all  Northumber- 
land was  convulsed  by  the  struggle  between  Wilfrid  and 
the  new  king  Egfrid. 

Then  came  the  day  upon  which  the  king  of  the  Northum- 
brians, accompanied  by  his  principal  nobles,  and  almost  all 
the  community  of  Lindisfarne,  landed  upon  the  rock  of 
Fame,  to  beg,  kneeling,  and  with  tears,  that  Cuthbert  would 
accept  the  episcopal  dignity  to  which  he  had  just  been 
promoted  in  the  synod  of  Twyford,  presided  over  by 
archbishop  Theodore.  He  yielded  only  after  a  long  resist- 
ance, himself  weeping  when  he  did  so.  It  was,  however, 
permitted  to  him  to  delay  his  consecration  for  six  months, 
till  Easter,  which  left  him  still  a  winter  in  his  dear  solitude, 
before  he  went  to  York,  where  he  was  consecrated  by  the 
primate  Theodore,  assisted  by  six  bishops.  He  would  not, 
however,  accept  the  diocese  of  Hexham,  to  which  he  had 
been  first  appointed,  but   persuaded  his  friend  Eata,  the 

* * 

348  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

bishop  and  abbot  of  Lindisfarne,  to  give  up  to  him  the 
monastic  bishopric,  where  he  had  already  lived  so  long. 

The  diocese  of  Lindisfarne  spread  far  to  the  west,  much 
beyond  Hexham.  The  Britons  of  Cumbria  who  had  come 
to  be  tributaries  of  the  Northumbrian  kings,  were  thus  in- 
cluded in  it.  King  Egfrid's  deed  of  gift,  in  which  he  gives 
the  district  of  Cartmell,  with  all  the  Britons  who  dwell  in  it, 
to  bishop  Cuthbert,  still  exists.  The  Roman  city  of  Carlisle, 
transformed  into  an  Anglo-Saxon  fortress,  was  also  under 
his  sway,  with  all  the  surrounding  monasteries. 

His  new  dignity  made  no  difference  in  his  character,  nor 
even  in  his  mode  of  life.  He  retained  his  old  habits  as  a 
cenobite,  and  even  as  a  hermit.  In  the  midst  of  his 
episcopal  pomp  he  remained  always  the  monk  and  mis- 
sionary of  old.  His  whole  episcopate,  indeed,  seems  to 
bear  the  character  of  a  mission  indefinitely  prolonged.  He 
went  over  his  vast  diocese,  to  administer  confirmation  to 
converts,  traversing  a  crowd  more  attentive  and  respectful 
than  ever,  lavishing  upon  it  all  kinds  of  benefits,  alms, 
clothing,  sermons,  miraculous  cures — penetrating  as  of  old 
into  hamlets  and  distant  corners,  climbing  the  hills  and 
downs,  sleeping  under  a  tent,  and  sometimes  indeed  finding 
no  other  shelter  than  in  the  huts  of  branches,  brought  from 
the  nearest  wood  to  the  desert,  in  which  he  had  made  the 
torrent  of  his  eloquence  and  charity  to  gush  forth. 

Here  also  we  find  illustrations,  as  at  all  previous  periods 
of  his  life,  of  the  most  delightful  feature  of  his  good  and 
holy  soul.  In  the  obscure  missionary  of  Melrose,  in  the 
already  celebrated  prior  of  Lindisfarne,  and  still  more,  if 
that  is  possible,  in  the  powerful  and  venerated  bishop,  the 
same  heart,  overflowing  with  tenderness  and  compassion  is 
always  to  be  found.  The  supernatural  power  given  to  him 
to  cure  the  most  cruel  diseases  was  wonderful.  But  in  his 
frequent  and  friendly  intercourse  with   the  great   Anglo- 

* * 

>Jr _>j< 

March*).]  S.  Cuthbert.  349 

Saxon  earls,  the  ealdormen,  as  well  as  with  the  mixed  popu- 
lations of  Britons,  Picts,  Scots,  and  English,  whom  he 
gathered  under  his  crosier,  the  principal  feature  in  the 
numerous  and  detailed  narratives  which  remain  to  us,  and 
which  gives  to  them  a  beauty  as  of  youth,  always  attractive, 
is  his  intense  and  active  sympathy  for  those  human  sorrows 
which  in  all  ages  are  the  same,  always  so  keen,  and  capable 
of  so  little  consolation.  The  more  familiar  the  details  of 
these  meetings  between  the  heart  of  a  saint  and  true  priest, 
and  the  simple  and  impetuous  hearts  of  the  first  English 
Christians,  the  more  attractive  do  they  become,  and  we 
cannot  resist  the  inclination  of  presenting  to  our  readers 
some  incidents  which  shew  at  once  the  liveliness  of  do- 
mestic affections  among  those  newly-baptized  barbarians 
and  their  filial  and  familiar  confidence  in  their  master. 
One  of  the  ealdormen  of  king  Egfrid  arrived  one  day  in 
breathless  haste  at  Lindisfarne,  overwhelmed  with  grief,  his 
wife,  a  woman  as  pious  and  generous  as  himself,  having 
been  seized  with  a  fit  of  violent  madness.  But  he  was 
ashamed  to  disclose  the  nature  of  the  attack,  it  seemed  to 
him  a  sort  of  chastisement  from  heaven,  disgracing  a 
creature  hitherto  so  chaste  and  honoured ;  all  that  he  said 
was  that  she  was  approaching  death ;  and  he  begged  that  a 
priest  might  be  given  him  to  carry  to  her  the  viaticum,  and 
that  when  she  died  he  might  be  permitted  to  bury  her  in 
the  holy  isle.  Cuthbert  heard  his  story,  and  said  to  him 
with  much  emotion,  "  This  is  my  business ;  no  one  but 
myself  can  go  with  you."  As  they  rode  on  their  way 
together,  the  husband  wept,  and  Cuthbert,  looking  at  him 
and  seeing  the  cheeks  of  the  rough  warrior  wet  with  tears, 
divined  the  whole ;  and  during  all  the  rest  of  the  journey 
consoled  and  encouraged  him,  explaining  to  him  that 
madness  was  not  a  punishment  of  crime,  but  a  trial  which 
God  inflicted  sometimes  upon  the  innocent     "Besides," 

* * 

350  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

he  added,  "  when  we  arrive  we  shall  find  her  cured ;  she 
will  come  to  meet  us,  and  will  help  me  to  dismount  from 
my  horse,  taking,  according  to  her  custom,  the  reins  in  her 
hand."  And  so  the  event  proved ;  for,  says  that  historian, 
the  demon  did  not  dare  to  await  the  coming  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  of  which  the  man  of  God  was  full.  The  noble  lady, 
delivered  from  her  bondage,  rose  as  if  from  a  profound 
sleep,  and  stood  on  the  threshold  to  greet  the  holy  friend 
of  the  house,  seizing  the  reins  of  his  horse,  and  joyfully 
announcing  her  sudden  cure. 

On  another  occasion,  a  certain  count  Henma,  from  whom 
he  sought  hospitality  during  one  of  his  pastoral  journeys, 
received  him  on  his  knees,  thanking  him  for  his  visit,  but 
at  the  same  time  telling  him  that  his  wife  was  at  the  point 
of  death,  and  he  himself  in  despair.  "  However,"  said  the 
count,  "I  firmly  believe  that  were  you  to  give  her  your 
blessing,  she  would  be  restored  to  health,  or  at  least  de- 
livered by  a  speedy  death  from  her  long  and  cruel  suffer- 
ings." The  saint  immediately  sent  one  of  his  priests, 
without  entering  into  the  sick  room  himself,  to  sprinkle  her 
with  water  which  he  had  blessed.  The  patient  was  at  once 
relieved;  and  herself  came  to  act  as  cupbearer  to  the 
prelate,  offering  him,  in  the  name  of  all  her  family,  that  cup 
of  wine  which,  under  the  name  of  the  loving  cup,  has 
continued  since  the  time  of  the  Anglo-Saxons  to  form  a  part 
of  all  solemn  public  banquets. 

A  contagious  disease  at  another  time  broke  out  in  one 
part  of  his  diocese,  to  which  Cuthbert  immediately  betook 
himself.  After  having  visited  and  consoled  all  the  remain- 
ing inhabitants  of  one  village,  he  turned  to  the  priest  who 
accompanied  him,  and  asked,  "  Is  there  still  any  one  sick 
in  this  poor  place,  whom  I  can  bless  before  I  depart  ?" 
"  Then,"  says  the  priest,  who  has  preserved  this  story  to  us, 
"  I  showed  him  in  the  distance  a  poor  woman  bathed  in 



March  *>.]  £   Cutkbert.  351 

tears,  one  of  whose  sons  was  already  dead,  and  who  held 
the  other  in  her  arms,  just  about  to  render  his  last  breath. 
The  bishop  rushed  to  her,  and  taking  the  dying  child  from 
its  mother's  arms,  kissed  it  first,  then  blessed  it,  and  restored 
it  to  the  mother,  saying  to  her,  as  the  Son  of  God  said  to 
the  widow  of  Nain,  '  Woman,  weep  not ;  have  no  more  fear 
or  sorrow ;  your  son  is  saved,  and  no  more  victims  to  this 
pestilence  shall  perish  here.' " 

No  saint  of  his  time  or  country  had  more  frequent  or  af- 
fectionate intercourse  than  Cuthbert  with  the  nuns,  whose 
numbers  and  influence  were  daily  increasing  among  the 
Anglo-Saxons,  and  especially  in  Northumberland.  The 
greater  part  of  them  lived  together  in  the  great  monasteries, 
such  as  Whitby  and  Coldingham,  but  some,  especially  those 
who  were  widows  or  of  advanced  age,  lived  in  their  own 
houses  or  with  their  relatives.  Such  was  a  woman  devoted 
to  the  service  of  God,  who  had  watched  over  Cuthbert's 
childhood  (for  he  seems  to  have  been  early  left  an  orphan), 
while  he  kept  his  sheep  on  the  hills  near  Melrose,  from  the 
eighth  year  of  his  age  until  his  entrance  into  the  convent  at 
the  age  of  fifteen.  He  was  tenderly  grateful  to  her  for  her 
maternal  care,  and  when  he  became  a  missionary,  took  ad- 
vantage of  every  occasion  furnished  to  him  by  his  apostolic 
journeys  to  visit  her  whom  he  called  his  mother,  in  the 
village  where  she  lived.  On  one  occasion,  when  he  was 
with  her,  a  fire  broke  out  in  the  village,  and  the  flames, 
increased  by  a  violent  wind,  threatened  all  the  neighbouring 
roofs.  "  Fear  nothing,  dear  mother,"  the  young  missionary 
said  to  her ;  "  this  fire  will  do  you  no  harm  ;"  and  he  began 
to  pray.  Suddenly  the  wind  changed;  the  village  was 
saved,  and  with  it  the  thatched  roof  which  sheltered  the  old 
age  of  her  who  had  protected  his  infancy. 

From  the  cottage  of  his  foster-mother  he  went  to  the 
palaces  of  queens.     The  noble  queen  of  Northumberland, 

* * 

* * 

352  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

Etheldreda,  the  saint  and  virgin,  had  a  great  friendship  for 
Cuthbert.  She  overwhelmed  him  and  his  monastery  with 
gifts  from  her  possessions,  and  wishing,  besides,  to  offer 
him  a  personal  token  of  her  close  affection,  she  embroidered 
for  him,  with  her  hands  (for  she  embroidered  beautifully),  a 
stole  and  maniple  covered  with  gold  and  precious  stones. 
She  chose  to  give  him  such  a  present  that  he  might  wear 
this  memorial  of  her  only  in  the  presence  of  God,  whom 
they  both  served,  and  accordingly  would  be  obliged  to  keep 
her  always  in  mind  at  the  holy  sacrifice. 

Cuthbert  was  on  still  more  intimate  terms  with  the  holy 
princesses,  who,  placed  at  the  head  of  great  communities  of 
nuns,  and  sometimes  even  of  monks,  exercised  so  powerful 
an  influence  upon  the  Anglo-Saxon  race,  and  particularly  on 
Northumbria.  While  he  was  still  at  Melrose,  the  increasing 
fame  of  his  sanctity  and  eloquence  brought  him  often  into 
the  presence  of  the  sister  of  king  Oswy,  who  then  reigned 
over  the  two  Northumbrian  kingdoms.  This  princess,  Ebba, 
was  abbess  of  the  double  monastery  of  Coldingham,  the 
farthest  north  of  all  the  religious  establishments  of  North- 
umbria. Cuthbert  was  the  guest  for  several  days  of  the 
royal  abbess,  but  he  did  not  intermit  on  this  occasion  his 
pious  exercises,  nor,  above  all,  his  austerities  and  long 
prayers  by  night  on  the  sea-shore. 

To  the  end  of  his  life  he  maintained  a  very  intimate  and 
constant  friendship  with  another  abbess  of  the  blood-royal 
of  Northumbria,  Elfleda,  niece  of  S.  Oswald,  and  of  king 
Oswy,  who,  though  still  quite  young,  exercised  an  influence, 
much  greater  than  that  of  Ebba  upon  the  men  and  the 
events  of  her  time.  She  had  the  liveliest  affection  for  the 
prior  of  Lindisfarne,  and  at  the  same  time  an  absolute  con- 
fidence in  his  sanctity.  When  she  was  assailed  by  an  alarm- 
ing illness,  which  fell  into  paralysis,  and  found  no  remedy 
from  physicians,  she  cried,    "  Ah  1  had  I  but  something 


* — * 

March  ao.]  S.  Cuthbert.  353 

which  belonged  to  my  dear  Cuthbert,  I  am  sure  I  should  be 
cured."  A  short  time  after,  her  friend  sent  her  a  linen 
girdle,  which  she  hastened  to  put  on,  and  in  three  days  she 
was  healed. 

Shortly  before  his  death,  and  during  his  last  pastoral  visi- 
tation, Cuthbert  went  to  see  Elfleda  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  great  monastery  of  Whitby,  to  consecrate  a  church 
which  she  had  built  there,  and  to  converse  with  her  for  the 
last  time.  They  dined  together,  and  during  the  meal,  seeing 
his  knife  drop  from  his  trembling  hand  in  the  abstraction  of 
supernatural  thoughts,  she  had  a  last  opportunity  of  admir- 
ing his  prophetic  intuition,  and  his  constant  care  for  the 
salvation  of  souls.  The  fatigue  of  the  holy  bishop,  who 
said,  laughingly,  "  I  cannot  eat  all  day  long,  you  must  give 
me  a  little  rest " — the  eagerness  and  pious  curiosity  of  the 
young  abbess,  anxious  to  know  and  do  everything,  who 
rushes  up  breathless  during  the  ceremony  of  the  dedication 
to  ask  from  the  bishop  a  memento  for  a  monk  whose  death 
she  had  just  heard  of — all  these  details  form  a  picture  com- 
plete in  its  simplicity,  upon  which  the  charmed  mind  can 
repose  amid  the  savage  habits  and  wild  vicissitudes  of  the 
struggle,  then  more  violent  than  ever,  between  the  North- 
umbrians and  the  Picts,  the  Saxons  and  the  Kelts. 

But  the  last  of  all  his  visits  was  for  another  abbess  less 
illustrious  and  less  powerful  than  the  two  princesses  of  the 
blood,  but  also  of  high  birth,  and  not  less  dear  to  his  heart, 
if  we  may  judge  by  the  mark  of  affection  which  he  gave 
her  on  his  deathbed.  This  was  Verca,  abbess  of  one  of 
that  long  line  of  monasteries  which  traced  the  shores  of  the 
Northern  Sea.  Her  convent  was  on  the  mouth  of  the 
Tyne,  the  river  which  divided  the  two  Northumbrian  king- 
doms. She  gave  Cuthbert  a  magnificent  reception ;  but  the 
bishop  was  ill,  and  after  the  mid-day  meal,  which  was  usual 
in  all  the  Benedictine  monasteries,  he  became  thirsty.  Wine 

vol.  in                                                                      23 
* * 

* . — 

354  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  »o. 

and  beer  were  offered  to  him,  yet  he  would  take  nothing 
but  water,  but  this  water,  after  it  had  touched  his  lips, 
seemed  to  the  monks  of  Tynemouth,  who  drank  the  re- 
mainder, the  best  wine  they  had  ever  tasted.  Cuthbert, 
who  retained  nothing  of  the  robust  health  of  his  youth, 
already  suffered  from  the  first  attacks  of  the  disease  which 
carried  him  off.  His  pious  friend  was  no  doubt  struck  by 
his  feebleness,  for  she  offered  him,  as  the  last  pledge  ot 
spiritual  union,  a  piece  of  very  fine  linen  to  be  his  shroud. 
Two  short  years  of  the  episcopate  had  sufficed  to  consume 
his  strength. 

After  celebrating  the  feast  of  Christmas,  in  686,  with  the 
monks  of  Lindisfarne,  the  presentiment  of  approaching 
death  determined  him  to  abdicate,  and  to  return  to  his 
isle  of  Fame,  there  to  prepare  for  the  last  struggle.  He 
lived  but  two  months,  in  the  dear  and  pleasant  solitude 
which  was  his  supreme  joy,  tempering  its  sweetness  by  re- 
doubled austerities.  When  his  monks  came  to  visit  him  in 
his  isle,  which  storms  often  made  inaccessible  for  weeks 
together,  they  found  him  thin,  tremulous,  and  almost  ex- 
hausted. One  of  them,  who  has  given  us  a  narrative  of  the 
end  of  his  life,  revived  him  a  little  by  giving  him  warm  wine 
to  drink,  then  seating  himself  by  the  side  of  the  worn-out 
bishop  upon  his  bed  of  stone,  to  sustain  him,  received  from 
his  beloved  lips  the  last  confidences  and  last  exhortations 
of  the  venerated  master.  The  visits  of  his  monks  were 
very  sweet  to  him,  and  he  lavished  upon  them  to  the  last 
moment  proofs  of  his  paternal  tenderness  and  of  his  minute 
care  for  their  spiritual  and  temporal  well-being.  His  last 
illness  was  long  and  painful.  He  fixed  beforehand  the 
place  of  his  burial  near  the  oratory  which  he  had  hollowed 
in  the  rock,  and  at  the  foot  of  a  cross  which  he  had  himself 
planted.  "I  would  fain  repose,"  said  he,  "in  this  spot, 
where  I  have  fought  my  little  battle  for  the  Lord,  where  1 

% ^ 

March  ao.]  S.  Cuthbert.  355 

desire  to  finish  my  course,  and  from  whence  I  hope  that  my 
merciful  Judge  will  call  me  to  the  crown  of  righteousness. 
You  will  bury  me,  wrapped  in  the  linen  which  I  have  kept 
for  my  shroud,  out  of  love  for  the  abbess  Verca,  the  friend 
of  God,  who  gave  it  to  me." 

He  ended  his  holy  life  preaching  peace,  humility,  and 
the  love  of  that  unity  which  he  thought  he  had  succeeded 
in  establishing  in  the  great  Anglo-Keltic  sanctuary,  the  new 
abbot  of  which,  Herefrid,  begged  of  him  a  last  message  as 
a  legacy  to  his  community.  "  Be  unanimous  in  your  coun- 
sels," the  dying  bishop  said  to  him  in  his  faint  voice ;  "  live 
in  good  accord  with  the  other  servants  of  Christ ;  despise 
none  of  the  faithful  who  ask  your  hospitality ;  treat  them 
with  friendly  familiarity,  not  esteeming  yourself  better  than 
others,  who  have  the  same  faith,  and  often  the  same  life. 
But  have  no  communion  with  those  who  withdraw  from  the 
unity  of  Catholic  peace,  either  by  the  illegal  celebration  of 
Easter,  or  by  practical  ill-doing.  Remember  always,  if  you 
must  make  a  choice,  that  I  infinitely  prefer  that  you  should 
leave  this  place,  carrying  my  bones  with  you,  rather  than 
that  you  should  remain  here  bent  under  the  yoke  of  wicked 
heresy.  Learn,  and  observe  with  diligence,  the  Catholic  de- 
crees of  the  fathers,  and  also  the  rules  of  monastic  life 
which  God  has  deigned  to  give  you  by  my  hands.  I  know 
that  many  have  despised  me  in  my  life,  but  after  my  death 
you  will  see  that  my  doctrine  has  not  been  despicable." 

This  effort  was  the  last.  He  lost  the  power  of  speech, 
received  the  last  sacraments  in  silence,  and  died  raising  his 
eyes  and  arms  to  heaven,  at  the  hour  when  it  was  usual  to 
sing  matins,  in  the  night  of  the  20th  of  March,  687.  One 
of  his  attendants  immediately  mounted  to  the  summit  of 
the  rock,  where  the  lighthouse  is  now  placed,  and  gave  to 
the  monks  of  Lindisfarne,  by  waving  a  lighted  torch,  the 
signal  agreed  upon  to  announce  the  death  of  the  greatest 

* * 


356  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

saint  who  has  given  glory  to  that  famous  isle.     He  was  but 
fifty,  and  had  worn  the  monastic  habit  for  thirty-five  years. 

Among  many  friends,  he  had  one  who  was  at  once  his 
oldest  and  most  beloved,  a  priest  called  Herbert,  who  lived 
as  an  anchorite  in  an  island  of  Lake  Derwentwater.  Every 
year  Herbert  came  from  his  peaceful  lake  to  visit  his  friend 
in  the  other  island,  beaten  and  undermined  continually  by 
the  great  waves  of  the  Northern  Sea ;  and  upon  that  wild 
rock,  to  the  accompaniment  of  winds  and  waves,  they  passed 
several  days  together,  in  a  tender  solitude  and  intimacy, 
talking  of  the  life  to  come.  When  Cuthbert,  then  a  bishop, 
came  for  the  last  time  to  Carlisle,  Herbert  seized  the  oppor- 
tunity, and  hastened  to  refresh  himself  at  that  fountain  of 
eternal  benefits  which  flowed  for  him  from  the  holy  and 
tender  heart  of  his  friend.  "  My  brother,"  the  bishop  said 
to  him,  "thou  must  ask  me  now  all  that  thou  wantest  to  know, 
for  we  shall  never  meet  again  in  this  world."  At  these 
words  Herbert  fell  at  his  feet  in  tears.  "  I  conjure  thee," 
he  cried,  "  do  not  leave  me  on  this  earth  behind  thee ;  re- 
member my  faithful  friendship,  and  pray  God  that,  after 
having  served  Him  together  in  this  world,  we  may  pass 
into  His  glory  together."  Cuthbert  threw  himself  on  his 
knees  at  his  friend's  side,  and  after  praying  for  some  minutes, 
said  to  him,  '•  Rise,  my  brother,  and  weep  no  more ;  God 
has  granted  to  us  that  which  we  have  both  asked  from  Him." 
And,  in  fact,  though  they  never  saw  each  other  again  here 
below,  they  died  on  the  same  day  and  at  the  same  hour ; 
the  one  in  his  isle  bathed  by  the  peaceful  waters  of  a  soli- 
tary lake,  the  other  upon  his  granite  rock,  fringed  by  the 
ocean  foam ;  and  their  souls,  says  Bede,  reunited  by  that 
blessed  death,  were  carried  together  by  the  angels  into  the 
eternal  kingdom.  This  coincidence  deeply  touched  the 
Christians  of  Northumbria,  and  was  long  engraven  in  their 
memory.       Seven  centuries  later,  in   1374,  the  bishop  of 


* g 

March*,.]  6*.  Cuthbert.  357 

Carlisle  appointed  that  a  mass  should  be  said  on  the  anni- 
versary of  the  two  saints,  in  the  island  where  the  Cumbrian 
anchorite  died,  and  granted  an  indulgence  of  forty  days  to 
all  who  crossed  the  water  to  pray  there  in  honour  of  the 
two  friends. 

After  many  translations,  the  body  of  S.  Cuthbert  found 
repose  in  Durham  cathedral,  where  it  rested  in  a  magnifi- 
cent shrine  till  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.,  when  the  royal 
commissioners  visited  the  cathedral  with  the  purpose  of  de- 
molishing all  shrines.  The  following  is  a  condensed  account 
of  this  horrible  profanation,  given  by  a  writer  of  the  period, 
or  shortly  after1 : — 

"  The  sacred  shrine  of  holy  S.  Cuthbert  was  defaced  at 
the  visitation  held  at  Durham,  by  Dr.  Lee,  Dr.  Henly,  and 
Mr.  Blithman.  They  found  many  valuable  jewels.  After 
the  spoil  of  his  ornaments,  they  approached  near  to  his 
body,  expecting  nothing  but  dust  and  ashes ;  but  perceiving 
the  chest  he  lay  in  strongly  bound  with  iron,  the  goldsmith, 
with  a  smith's  great  forge  hammer,  broke  it  open,  when  they 
found  him  lying  whole,  uncorrupt,  with  his  face  bare,  and 
his  beard  as  of  a  fortnight's  growth,  and  all  the  vestments 
about  him,  as  he  was  accustomed  to  say  mass.  When  the 
goldsmith  perceived  he  had  broken  one  of  his  legs  in  break- 
ing open  the  chest,  he  was  sore  troubled  at  it,  and  cried, 
4  Alas  !  I  have  broken  one  of  his  legs ' ;  which  Dr.  Henly 
hearing,  called  to  him,  and  bade  him  cast  down  his  bones. 
The  other  answered,  he  could  not  get  them  asunder,  for  the 
sinews  and  skin  held  them  so  that  they  would  not  separate. 
Then  Dr.  Lee  stept  up  to  see  if  it  were  so,  and  turning 
about,  spake  in  Latin  to  Dr.  Henly  that  he  was  entire, 
though  Dr.  Henly,  not  believing  his  words,  called  again  to 

'  "  A  description  or  briefe  declaration  of  all  ye  auntient  monuments,  ice,  written 
in  1593."  but  this  seems  to  have  been  written  originally  In  Latin  somewhat  earlier. 
It  has  been  several  times  republished,  lastly  by  Sanderson,  in  1767. 

* — . 

* _ 

358  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ao. 

have  his  bones  cast  down.  Dr.  Lee  answered,  '  If  you  will 
not  believe  me,  come  up  yourself  and  see  him.'  Then  Dr. 
Henly  stept  up  to  him,  and  handled  him,  and  found  he  lay 
whole ;  then  he  commanded  them  to  take  him  down,  and 
so  it  happened,  that  not  only  his  body  was  whole  and  un- 
corrupted,  but  the  vestments  wherein  his  body  lay,  and 
wherein  he  was  accustomed  to  say  mass,  were  fresh,  safe, 
and  not  consumed.  Whereupon  the  visitors  commanded 
him  to  be  carried  into  the  revestry,  till  the  king's  pleasure 
concerning  him  was  further  known ;  and  upon  the  receipt 
thereof,  the  prior  and  monks  buried  him  in  the  ground  under 
the  place  where  his  shrine  was  exalted." 

Harpsfield,  who  flourished  at  the  time,  and  who  was  a 
most  faithful  and  zealous  Catholic,  gives  a  similar  account ; 
he,  however,  does  not  say  that  the  leg  bone  was  broken, 
but  that  the  flesh  was  wounded ;  and  that  the  body  was 
entire  except  that  "  the  prominent  part  of  the  nose,  I  know 
not  why,  was  wanting."  And  he  adds  that,  "  a  grave  was 
made  in  the  ground,  in  that  very  spot  previously  occupied 
by  his  precious  shrine,  and  there  the  body  was  deposited. 
And  not  only  his  body,  but  even  the  vestments  in  which  it 
was  clothed,  were  perfectly  entire,  and  free  from  all  taint 
and  decay.  There  was  upon  his  finger  a  ring  of  gold,  orna- 
mented with  a  sapphire,  which  I  myself  once  saw  and 
handled  and  kissed.  There  were  present,  among  others, 
when  this  sacred  body  was  exposed  to  daylight,  Doctor 
Whithead,  the  president  of  the  monastery,  Dr.  Sparke,  Dr. 
Tod,  and  William  Wilam,  the  keeper  of  the  sacred  shrine. 
And  thus  it  is  abundantly  manifest,  that  the  body  of 
S.  Cuthbert  remained  inviolate  and  uncontaminated  eight 
hundred  and  forty  years." 

In  May,  1827,  the  place  which  these  and  other  authori- 
ties had  indicated  as  that  where  the  body  of  S.  Cuthbert 
was  buried,  was  very  carefully  examined,  and  the  coffin  and 

4f g, 

# -* 

March  *>.]  S.  Cuthbert.  359 

a  body  were  exhumed.  The  Anglo-Saxon  sculpture,  and 
everything  about  and  within  this  coffin,  left  no  doubt  that 
what  was  discovered  was  the  ancient  coffin,  the  vestments, 
and  relics  which  had  accompanied  the  body  of  S.  Cuthbert, 
But  the  body  by  no  means  agreed  with  the  minute  accounts 
of  S.  Cuthbert  There  was  evidence  that  it  had  not  been 
uncorrupt  when  buried,  and  there  was  no  trace  of  any  injury 
done  to  the  leg-bone.  Hence  it  is  difficult  not  to  conclude 
that  the  garments  and  shrine  were  those  of  Cuthbert,  but 
that  the  body  was  not  his,  but  was  one  which  had  been 
substituted  for  it  And  when  we  remember  that  the  in- 
corrupt body  was  left  in  the  vestry  under  the  charge  of  the 
prior  and  monks  till  the  king's  pleasure  could  be  ascertained 
as  to  what  was  to  be  done  with  it,  there  can  be  little  doubt 
that  they  who  so  highly  valued  this  sacred  treasure  substi- 
tuted for  it  another  body,  which  they  laid  in  the  pontifical 
vestments  of  Cuthbert,  which  was  buried  as  his  in  his 
coffin.  Where  the  prior  and  monks  concealed  the  holy 
relics,  if  this  conjecture  prove  true,  it  is  impossible  to  state. 
That  there  is  ground  for  this  conjecture  may  be  concluded 
from  the  existence  of  a  tradition  to  this  effect,  and  it  is  said 
that  the  true  place  of  the  interment  of  the  saint  is  only 
known  to  three  members  of  the  Benedictine  Order,  who,  as 
each  one  dies,  choose  a  successor.  Another  line  of  tra- 
dition is  said  to  descend  through  the  Vicars  Apostolic,  now 
Roman  Catholic  bishops  of  the  district  This  is  the  belief 
to  which  reference  is  made  in  Marmion. 

The  supposed  place  of  interment  indicated  by  the  secular 
tradition,  (under  the  stairs  of  the  bell-tower),  has  been  care- 
fully examined.  No  remains  were  found,  and  it  is  evident 
that  the  ground  had  never  been  disturbed  since  the  construc- 
tion of  the  tower.1     There  can  be  no  question  as  to  the 

1  This  secular  tradition  was  preserved  in  the  following  words  : — "  Subter  gradus 
saxeos  (secundum  ct  tcrtium)  climacis  ascendcntis  et  duccnt is  crga  turrim  campan- 

* ^ 

* _ * 

360  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ao. 

genuineness  of  all  the  articles  found  in  the  tomb,  for  they 
exactly  agree  with  accounts  of  the  things  contained  in  the 
shrine,  described  by  pre-reformation  writers;  but  the 
genuineness  of  the  body  is  more  than  questionable. 
Mr.  Raine,  who  was  present  at  the  investigation,  and 
has  written  an  account  of  it,  "  S.  Cuthbert ;  with  an 
Account  of  the  State  in  which  his  Remains  were  found 
upon  the  Opening  of  his  Tomb  in  Durham  Cathedral, 
in  the  year  1827,"  Durham  1828,  endeavours  to  establish 
their  identity  by  repudiating  as  absurd  the  account 
of  the  contemporary  writers  who  assert  that  the  body  was 
uncorrupt,  and  of  the  breaking  of  the  leg-bone,  though  he 
accepts  all  their  other  statements. 

amm  in  templo  cathedrali  civitatis  Dunelmensis,  prope  horologium  grande  quod 
locatur  in  angulo  australi  faniejusdem,  sepultus  jacet  thesaurus  pretiosus,  (corpus 
S.  Cuthberti.)"  The  earliest  notice  of  such  a  tradition  is  in  Serenus  Cressy,  (1688), 
Church  History,  p.  902.  The  next  in  two  MSS.  in  Downside  College  by  F.  Mannock 
(1740),  who  states  that  he  had  heard  it  from  F.  Casse  (1730.)  Both  these  statements 
pointed  to  the  removal  of  the  body  in  the  time  of  Henry  VIII.  The  next  notice  of  it 
is  in  1828,  when  F.  Gregory  Robinson  wrote  to  Lingard,  (see  Lingard's  Remarks, 
p.  $0),  but  in  this  account  the  removal  was  described  as  taking  place  in  Mary's  time. 
The  secresy  was  partly  broken  when,  in  1800,  the  sketch  of  the  cathedral  which  exists 
in  the  archives  of  the  Northern  (R.C)  Province  was  allowed  to  be  seen.  Lingard's 
tradition  (Anglo  Saxon  Church,  ii.  p.  80),  about  the  exchange  of  S.  Cuthbert's  body 
for  another  skeleton  is  unknown  to  the  Benedictines,  who  assert  that  they  possess 
the  secret.  It  is  said  that  the  Benedictine  tradition  concerning  the  site  does  not  agree 
with  the  secular.  What  started  the  diggings  in  1867,  under  the  stairs,  was  that  a 
hereditary  Roman  Catholic  of  Gateshead  became  a  Protestant,  and  gave  up  a 
small  piece  of  paper  on  which  was  written  the  above  secular  tradition,  "suiter 
gradus,  &c."  His  father  or  grandfather  had  been  servant  to  a  Vicar  Apostolic, 
after  whose  death  he  had  some  of  his  clothes,  among  which  was  a  waistcoat,  inside 
which  the  above  was  secured.  It  was  ascertained  that  this  was  not  a  hoax,  and 
the  late  Dean  Waddington  invited  some  of  the  fathers  from  Ushaw  over,  and  the 
head  of  the  English  Benedictines  to  see  the  diggings.  It  was  supposed  that  the 
"precious  treasure"  was  something  else,  perhaps  the  Black  Rood  of  Scotland, 
containing  a  portion  of  the  true  cross,  and  that  the  words  above  in  parenthesis, 
(corpus  Sti.  Cuthberti)  are  a  gloss.  However  they  dug,  but  found  nothing  but 
concrete  and  rock. 

^ -ft 

* * 

March  »o.j  S.   Wulfram  of  Sens.  361 

(a.d.  741.) 

[Gallican  and  Roman  Martyrologies,  Also  those  of  Usuardus  and 
Wyon.  Authority  : — A  life  written  by  a  contemporary,  Jonas,  a  monk  of 
the  same  abbey  of  Fontenelle  to  which  S.  Wulfram  retired,  of  this  there 
are  several  editions,  some  much  interpolated.  Some  of  these  additions  are 
gross  errors.  According  to  the  life  which  Surius  publishes,  Jonas  dedicated 
it  to  his  abbot  Bainus.  But  Bainus  died  seven  years  after  Wulfram  had 
undertaken  his  mission.  Possibly  Bainus  is  an  error  of  the  copyist  for 
Wando,  who  translated  the  body  of  S.  Wulfram  in  742.  In  the  prologue, 
moreover,  Owen,  or  Ovus,  the  lad  whom  S.  Wulfram  had  resuscitated  after 
he  had  been  hung,  is  quoted  as  the  authority  for  much  of  what  the  bishop 
did  in  Friesland,  Owen  being  then  priest  in  the  abbey  of  Fontenelle.  This 
indicates  the  date  of  the  life  as  being  about  the  time  of  the  translation.] 

Wulfram  was  born  at  Milly,  three  leagues  from  Fontaine- 
bleau,  of  a  noble  and  wealthy  family.  His  father,  whose 
name  was  Fulbert,  was  held  in  great  esteem  by  Dagobert  I. 
and  Clovis  II.  on  account  of  the  signal  services  he  had 
rendered  them  in  their  wars.  Although  brought  up,  and 
constantly  engaged  in  the  camp,  Fulbert  took  care  that  his 
son  should  receive  an  excellent  education  in  letters;  and 
as  Wulfram  exhibited  a  marked  partiality  for  the  clerical 
over  the  secular  life,  he  suffered  him  to  take  holy  orders. 
Wulfram  was  not,  however,  allowed  to  follow  the  bent  of 
his  wishes  in  every  particular,  for  notwithstanding  his  desire 
to  live  a  quiet  secluded  life  of  study,  he  was  called  in  670  to 
serve  God  in  the  court  of  Clothaire  III.  and  Thierry  III., 
kings  of  the  Franks,  till  the  death  of  his  father.  About  the 
same  time,  Lambert,  bishop  of  Sens,  having  died,  Wulfram 
was  unanimously  elected  to  fill  his  room,  by  clergy  and 
people,  and  the  royal  consent  having  been  obtained,  he  was 
consecrated  to  the  see  of  Sens,  in  683.  But  "the  Spirit 
breatheth  where  He  wills,  and  thou  canst  not  tell  whence 
He  cometh  and  whither  He  goeth."  Moved  by  a  divine 
call  which  could  not  be  gainsaid,  after  having  occupied  the 

* * 

362  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

see  for  only  two  years  and  a  half,  Wulfram  abdicted  his 
charge  in  685,  probably  moved  by  religious  scruples  as  to 
the  canonicity  of  his  appointment,  for  S.  Amaeus,  the  rightful 
bishop  of  Sens,  in  the  banishment  to  which  he  was  sent  by 
Thierry  III.  in  674,  had  survived  the  appointment  of 
Lambert.  Wulfram,  freed  from  his  charge,  at  once  under- 
took a  mission  to  Friesland.  He  conferred  on  his  design 
with  S.  Ansbert,  then  archbishop  of  Rouen,  after  having 
been  abbot  of  S.  Vandrille.1  By  his  advice  he  retired  for  a 
while  into  that  abbey  of  Fontenelle  to  prepare  for  his  aposto- 
late  to  the  Frisians,  in  solitude,  with  prayer.  After  awhile  he 
came  forth  refreshed,  and  having  divested  himself  of  his 
property  at  Milly,  his  native  place,  which  he  gave  to  the 
abbey  of  S.  Vandrille,  that  he  might  go  unimpeded  into  the 
battle ;  and  having  obtained  from  the  abbot,  Hilbert,  some 
monks  to  accompany  him  and  assist  him  in  his  mission,  he 
embarked  at  Caudebec,  in  700,  spread  the  white  sail  to  the 
breeze,  and  flew  out  into  the  sea. 

"  To  the  ship's  bow  he  ascended, 
By  his  choristers  attended, 
Round  him  were  the  tapers  lighted, 
And  the  sacred  incense  rose. 

*'  On  the  bow  stood  bishop  Wulfram, 
In  his  robes,  as  one  transfigured, 
And  the  crucifix  he  planted 
High  amid  the  rain  and  mist. 

"  Then  with  holy  water  sprinkled 
All  the  ship  ;  the  mass-bells  tinkled  ; 
Loud  the  monks  around  him  chanted, 
Loud  he  read  the  Evangelist."2 

But  as  the  deacon  was  wiping  the  paten,  during  mass, 
it  slipped  from  his  fingers,  and  glanced  down  through  a 
green  wave  and  was  lost.  Then  he  uttered  a  cry  of  dismay, 
for  they  had  no  other  paten  with  them  in  the  vessel.     But 

1  Anciently  Fontenelle.                         *  Longfellow's  Saga  of  king  Olaf. 
* -* 

*• * 

March  *>.]  S.    Wulfram  of  Sens.  363 

Wulfram  turning  himself  about  from  the  altar  in  the  ship's- 
bows,  bade  him  thrust  his  hand  over  the  side  into  the  water. 
And  he  did  so,  nothing  doubting,  and  brought  up  the  paten, 
dripping  with  sea-water.  This  paten  was  preserved  in  the  mon- 
astery of  S.  Vandrille  till  the  year  162 1,  when  it  was  stolen. 

Now  when  they  had  come  into  Friesland,  Wulfram  went 
before  the  king,  Radbod,  and  preached  boldly  to  him  the 
Word  of  God.  The  king  listened,  and  allowed  the  mission- 
aries to  settle  in  the  land,  and  to  declare  the  Gospel  of  the 
Kingdom  to  his  subjects,  but  he  himself  put  off  giving 
attention  to  what  they  taught  till  a  more  convenient  season. 
And  as  Wulfram  dwelt  in  the  land,  and  saw  it  wholly  given 
up  to  the  worship  of  false  gods,  and  to  the  performance  of 
cruel  sacrifices,  his  spirit  was  stirred  within  him,  and  he 
denounced  the  hideous  offerings  of  children  made  to  the 
false  gods.  It  was  then  the  custom  among  the  Frisians  to 
offer  to  Wodin  their  sons,  by  hanging  them  on  gibbets.  This 
method  of  sacrifice  was  common  to  all  the  Scandinavian 
and  Teutonic  peoples.  One  horrible  instance  is  related,  for 
instance,  in  one  of  the  old  Norse  Sagas,  of  a  mother  thus 
sacrificing  her  child  to  Wodin  to  obtain  from  him  the  secret 
of  brewing  better  ale  than  the  second  wife  of  her  husband, 
in  order  that  she  might  thus  be  able  to  attach  him  to  herself 
more  closely. 

Wulfram  preached  in  vain,  king  Radbod  replied  to  all  his 
remonstrances  that  it  was  the  custom  of  the  country,  and 
that  he  could  not,  or  would  not  alter  it  And  this  was  the 
way  in  which  the  victims  were  chosen.  Lots  were  cast  on 
the  children  of  the  nobles,  and  those  who  were  taken,  were 
hung  on  a  tree  or  gibbet,  to  Wodin,  or  else  were  fastened 
to  a  post  between  tides,  and  left  to  drown  with  the  rising 
flood,  as  an  offering  to  Ran,  the  sea-goddess,  to  stay  her 
from  bringing  her  waves  over  the  low,  flat  land,  and  sub- 
merging it 

* — _ * 

364  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20, 

Hearing  that  a  child  was  about  to  be  hung,  Wulfram 
hasted  to  the  spot,  but  was  unable  to  prevent  the  perpe- 
tration of  the  sacrifice.  Then  after  the  boy  had  been 
hanging  two  hours,  the  rope  broke,  and  the  bishop  casting 
himself  on  the  body,  cried  to  the  Lord,  and  He  heard  his 
voice,  and  the  child  revived,  and  the  bishop  restored  him  to 
his  parents.1  And  on  another  occasion,  he  was  present 
when  two  youths,  sons  of  a  widow,  were  being  sacrificed  to 
the  sea.  He  saw  the  poor  lads  waiting  on  the  wet  sand, 
and  shrieking  with  fear  as  the  waves  tumbled  at  every 
instant  nearer  to  them,  whilst  all  the  people  looked  on, 
shouting  to  drown  their  cries,  upon  the  dyke.  Then 
Wulfram,  unable  to  endure  the  spectacle,  knelt  down,  and 
covered  his  eyes,  and  prayed.  And  when  he  looked  up, 
he  saw  the  sea  was  washing  around  the  youths,  but  had  not 
touched  them.  So  he  prayed  more  fervently,  and  the 
people  standing  on  the  dyke  shouted,  to  drown  the  shrieks 
of  the  young  men ;  and  Wulfram  looked,  and  they  were  up 
to  their  chins  in  water,  battling  with  the  angry  waves.  Then 
Radbod  called  to  the  bishop  and  said,  "  See  !  there  be  the 
youths,  go,  save  them  if  thou  canst."  Then  Wulfram  rose, 
and  made  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  cast  his  mantle  from 
him,  and  went  boldly  down  to  the  sea,  and  walked  thereon 
without  fear,  trusting  in  the  Lord,  and  he  took  the  two 
children,  one  by  each  hand,  and  he  came  to  the  land  lead- 
ing them,  with  foot  unwet 

Then  the  people  were  filled  with  wonder,  and  a  great  fear 
fell  upon  them,  and  many  renounced  their  false  gods,  and 
came  and  submitted  their  necks  to  the  sweet  yoke  of 
Christ.  King  Radbod  also,  convinced  against  his  will, 
consented  to  receive  baptism.  But  as  he  was  stepping 
down  into  the  water,  he  suddenly  halted,  with  one  foot  in 

1  The  boy  was  afterwards  sent  to  Fontenelle,  and  he  is  the  authority  for  the 
events  of  S.  Wulfram's  mission  in  Friesland. 

* ^ 

* _ 5, 

March  20.]  .S".    Wulfram  of  Sens.  365 

the  stream,  and  asked,  "  Where  are  my  ancestors,  are  they 
in  the  heaven  thou  promisest  to  me  ?" 

"  Be  not  deceived,"  answered  Wulfram,  "  God  knoweth 
the  number  of  His  elect.  Thy  ancestors  have  died  with- 
out baptism,  therefore  they  have  certainly  received  the 
sentence  of  damnation."  It  was  an  injudicious  answer.  It 
is  by  no  means  certain  that  those  who  have  not  had  an 
opportunity  of  knowing  the  truth,  but  have  lived  up  to  the 
light  God  has  given  them,  are  eternally  lost  The  result  of 
this  harsh  answer  was,  that  Radbod  withdrew  his  foot  from 
the  water,  saying,  "I  will  go  to  hell  with  my  ancestors, 
rather  than  be  in  heaven  without  them."  It  is  only  just  to 
remark  that  this  story  is  not  to  be  found  in  the  most  correct 
and  ancient  copies  of  the  life  by  Jonas  of  Fontenelle. 

After  about  twenty  years  of  labour  in  Friesland,  his  health 
failed,  and  he  returned  in  haste  to  Fontenelle,  to  die 
amongst  the  brethren  in  the  peace  of  a  cloister.  He  died 
on  March  20th,  in  the  year  720.  Nine  years  after,  Wando, 
abbot  of  Fontenelle,  took  the  body  from  its  grave,  and 
translated  to  the  church  of  S.  Peter.  In  1058,  it  was  taken 
to  Notre  Dame  at  Abbeville,  and  this  church  in  course  of 
years,  assumed  the  name  of  S.  Wulfram.  The  sacred  relics 
remain  there,  enclosed  in  a  rich  shrine.  An  annual  pro- 
cession is  made  on  this  day  at  Abbeville  with  the  shrine. 

(a.d.  797.) 

[Commemorated  by  the  Greeks.  Authority :— The  Acts  by  S.  Stephen 
of  S.  Sabas,  an  eye-witness  of  what  he  relates.  The  account  in  the  Greek 
Menology  is  full  of  inaccuracies,  which  proves  that  the  compiler  of  it  had 
not  seen  the  Acts,  but  wrote  his  account  from  tradition.] 

The  lauraof  S.  Sabas  between  Jerusalem  and  Bethlehem 
stood   in   a   situation   exposed  to  hostile  attack.      In  the 

* * 

* — — * 

366  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  x>. 

invasion  of  Palestine  by  Chosroes,  the  monastery  did  not 
escape,  but  yielded  up  sixty  martyrs  to  God.  In  797, 
twenty  more  perished  in  an  incursion  of  the  Arabs.  The 
account  of  this  latter  catastrophe,  written  by  Stephen,  a 
monk  of  that  monastery,  at  the  time,  and  one  of  those  who 
escaped,  is  full  of  interest  It  is  far  too  long  to  be  inserted 
here.  We  have  only  space  for  a  brief  outline  of  the  events. 
The  Arabs  had  been  devastating  the  whole  country  for  some 
time  past,  and  news  of  the  ruin  of  the  laura  of  S.  Charito 
had  reached  the  monks  of  the  laura  of  S.  Sabas.  A  laura  is 
a  collection  of  separate  cells,  of  caves,  or  huts,  the  monks 
assembling  only  in  the  church;  whereas  a  monastery  consists 
of  one  or  more  large  buildings,  in  which  the  monks  live  in 
community.  On  hearing  of  the  pillage  of  the  laura  of 
S.  Charito,  the  brethren  assembled  in  the  church  to  pray 
God  to  deliver  them  from  a  like  infliction,  or  should  He 
deem  expedient  to  send  it  upon  them,  to  strengthen  them 
to  meet  it  manfully.  As  they  were  in  prayer,  a  brother 
who  was  on  the  look-out,  came  running  to  tell  that  he  saw  a 
party  of  some  sixty  Arabs,  armed  with  lances  and  bows, 
galloping  over  a  sand  hill  in  the  direction  of  the  laura.  It 
was  the  13th  of  March,  and  the  second  hour  of  the  morn- 
ing. Then  there  went  forth  a  deputation  of  the  monks  to 
meet  the  marauders,  and  to  beseech  them  to  spare  the 
defenceless  brethren.  But  they  were  greeted  with  shouts  of 
derision,  and  were  driven  before  the  arrows  and  stones  of 
the  robbers  back  into  the  church,  some  of  their  number 
mortally  wounded,  and  in  all,  thirty  were  wounded.  The 
physician  Thomas  extracted  the  arrows  and  bound  up  their 
wounds,  as  they  were  brought  in.  But  he  had  little  space 
for  attending  to  them,  before  the  Arabs  came  into  the  laura, 
and  gathering  thorns  into  bundles,  piled  them  about  the 
cells  and  set  fire  to  them.  They  were  preparing  to  do  the 
same  to  the  church,  when  an  alarm  was  given  that  succour 

* * 



March  20.]       Twenty  Monks  at  S.  Sabas.  367 

to  the  monks  was  at  hand,  and  in  an  instant  the  Arabs  had 
vanished  over  the  sand  hills. 

Throughout  the  following  week  the  monks  were  kept  in 
incessant  alarm  and  expectation  of  a  renewed  attack.  Mes- 
sengers came  to  them  from  the  old  Laura,  to  warn  them 
that  a  band  of  ruffians  had  attacked  it  and  was  on  its  way 
to  the  Laura  of  S.  Sabas.  The  news  reached  them  on 
Saturday  night  late,  as  they  were  keeping  the  vigil  of  the 
Lord's  day  in  the  Church.  Their  terror  and  anxiety  was 
greatly  increased  somewhat  later,  when  an  old  white-haired 
monk  arrived  from  the  monastery  of  S.  Euthymius,  bearing 
a  letter  from  the  abbot,  to  tell  them  that  a  second  party  of 
Arabs  was  on  its  way  to  attack  them.  A  bright  full  moon  was 
in  the  sky,  shining  in  at  the  church  windows,  and  by  its  light 
the  frightened  monks  deciphered  the  epistle.  Some  fled 
over  the  desert,  vainly  seeking  hiding  places ;  some  retired 
to  their  cells,  some  remained  praying  in  the  Church.  Here 
occurs  a  great  gap  in  the  history,  a  whole  sheet  of  the  MS. 
is  lost,  and  we  next  hear  of  the  Arabs  driving  the  flying 
monks  before  them  with  bow,  and  spear,  and  club,  towards 
the  church,  scouring  the  desert  around  and  catching  the 
runaways,  penetrating  into  the  cells,  and  dragging  them 

John,  the  guest-master,  was  found  among  some  rocks, 
the  barbarians  pelted  him  with  stones,  then  ham-strung 
him,  and  dragged  him  down  the  rocks  by  his  feet  to  the 
church,  till,  mangled  and  bleeding,  he  fainted.  Sergius,  the 
sacristan,  had  concealed  the  sacred  vessels,  and  had  sought 
refuge  in  flight,  but  was  caught,  and  because  he  refused  to 
surrender  the  holy  vessels,  was  hacked  to  pieces  by  the 
barbarians.  A  number  of  the  monks  had  secreted  them- 
selves in  a  cave.  The  Arabs  ran  into  it,  thrusting  their 
swords  and  spears  into  every  corner,  and  one  of  the  monks, 
a  young  man,  named  Patricius,  resolved  to  sacrifice  himself 



368  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  20. 

to  save  the  others.  He,  therefore,  cried  out  that  he  would 
surrender,  and,  coming  forth,  delivered  himself  up.  The 
robbers,  supposing  he  was  the  only  one  there  concealed, 
left  the  others  unmolested.  He  was  one  of  those  who  were 
afterwards  suffocated. 

Now  there  was  a  winding  cave  under  the  guest-house, 
which  was  used  for  various  purposes.  Into  this  a  number 
of  monks  were  driven,  and  they  were  threatened  with  death 
unless  they  would  ransom  their  lives  by  surrendering  the 
Eucharistic  vessels  and  vestments.  This  they  refused  to 
do.  Then  the  Arabs  bade  them  point  out  which  were  the 
heads  of  the  community.  They  replied,  with  truth,  that  the 
abbot  was  nowabsent,  he  having  gone  away  on  some  business 
a  few  weeks  before.  Then  they  insisted  on  the  physician 
being  indicated  to  them,  for  they  had  an  idea  that  he  was 
possessed  of  money.  Again  the  monks  refused  to  declare 
which  of  them  was  physician.  Then  the  Arabs  thrust  them 
all  into  the  cave,  and  choking  up  the  entrance  with  thorns 
and  grass,  set  fire  to  it.  And  when  there  had  been  a  blaze 
and  smoke  for  some  little  while,  they  shouted  to  the  monks 
within  to  come  forth  ;  so  the  unfortunate  men  came  through 
the  blaze  and  over  the  red  coals,  and  fell  panting  for  breath 
on  the  ground.  Their  hair,  beards,  eyelashes,  and  their 
garments  were  burnt,  and  their  faces  were  discoloured 
with  smoke.  The  Arabs  again  bade  them  deliver  up  their 
superiors,  and  as  they  again  refused,  they  drove  them  back 
through  the  flames  into  the  cave,  and  heaped  on  more  fuel, 
and  kept  up  the  blaze,  till  all  within  had  been  suffocated. 
Then  they  dispersed  themselves  over  the  Laura,  and  entered 
every  cell,  and  took  from  them  all  that  they  wanted,  and 
laded  the  camels  belonging  to  the  monks  with  the  spoil  that 
they  had  found,  and  departed. 

And  after  many  hours,  the  brethren  who  had  escaped 
came  forth  from  their  places  of  concealment,  and  sought 

* * 

* -* 

March  no.j  ,5".  Ambrose  of  Sienna.  369 

water  and  food  to  satisfy  their  appetites ;  and  they  scattered 
the  embers  of  the  great  fire,  and  as  the  smoke  rolled  forth 
from  the  cavern,  and  a  pure  air  entered,  they  lighted  tapers 
and  went  in,  at  the  setting  of  the  sun,  and  found  all  the 
fathers  therein  dead,  with  their  faces  to  the  ground,  and  in 
various  attitudes,  some  as  though  creeping  into  a  corner  in 
quest  of  air.  And  they  made  great  lamentation  over  them, 
and  drew  them  forth  and  washed  them,  and  buried  them 
with  reverence. 

(a.d.   1287.) 

[At  Sienna  on  the  Saturday  before  Passion  Sunday  ;  but  by  the  Domini- 
can Order  on  March  22nd  ;  the  Roman  Martyrology  on  March  20th,  the 
day  of  his  death.  He  was  beatified  by  Gregory  XV.  His  Acts  were 
written  by  friars  Gisberti,  Recuperato  di  Petromala,  Aldobrandini  Papa- 
roni,  and  Olvado,  by  order  of  Honorius  IV.,  the  then  reigning  pope,  from 
documents  transmitted  to  them  within  a  month  of  the  decease  of  S.  Am- 
brose. These  originals  also  exist,  and  have  been  printed  along  with  the 
Acts  by  the  Bollandists.] 

S.  Ambrose  was  of  the  family  of  the  Sansedoni,  on  his 
father's  side,  and  of  the  Stribelini  on  that  of  his  mother, 
both  illustrious  in  Sienna.  He  was  deformed  at  his  birth, 
his  legs  and  feet  being  twisted,  but  as  his  nurse  was  hearing 
mass  one  holy-day,  in  the  church  of  the  Dominicans,  and 
was  praying  before  some  holy  relics,  afterwards  exposed  to 
the  veneration  of  the  faithful,  the  child  suddenly  pronounced 
the  name  of  Jesus  thrice,  and  lost  at  the  same  moment 
every  trace  of  deformity. 

As  he  grew  up,  his  play  was  connected  with  holy  things. 

Till  he  was  seven,  he  amused  himself  with  carving  little 

crosses,  making  little  oratories,  imitating  with  other  children 

the  processions  and  psalmody  of  the  Church.     When  he 

grew  older,  he  obtained  his  father's  consent  to  his  lodging 

pilgrims.   He  furnished  for  the  purpose  a  room  in  the  house, 

and  went  to  the  gate  of  the  city  every  Saturday  to  bring 

vol.   in.                                                                       24 
* * 

* : * 

370  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  90. 


home  with  him  the  first  five  pilgrims  whom  he  encountered. 
He  then  washed  their  feet,  and  ministered  in  every  way  to 
their  comforts.  On  the  morrow  he  went  with  them  to  mass, 
and  guided  them  about  the  town  to  all  the  places  of  devo- 
tion. Every  Sunday  evening  after  vespers  he  visited  the 
hospital,  and  every  Friday  the  prison.  He  continued  these 
holy  exercises  till  he  was  seventeen,  when  he  entered  the 
Dominican  order.  He  made  his  full  profession  next  year, 
in  1238,  and  was  then  sent  to  Paris  and  to  Cologne  to  pro- 
secute his  studies.  At  Cologne  he  became  the  pupil  of 
Albertus  Magnus,  along  with  the  great  S.  Thomas  Aquinas. 
When  his  education  was  complete,  he  taught  theology  in 
Paris  for  two  years,  and  then  preached  in  France,  Germany, 
and  Italy.  The  people  of  Sienna  having  taken  part  with 
Mansfeld,  the  bastard  of  Frederick  II.,  who  was  in  hostility 
with  the  pope,  were  placed  under  an  interdict.  Ambrose 
undertook  to  reconcile  them  with  the  Holy  See,  and  was  so 
successful,  that  the  Siennese  have  chosen  him,  on  account  of 
this  eminent  service  rendered  them,  as  the  patron  of  their  city. 
During  the  forty-nine  years  of  his  monastic  life,  he  main- 
tained the  utmost  self-discipline.  He  never  slept  more  than 
four  hours  every  night.  After  matins  he  remained  for  two 
hours  in  prayer  in  the  choir,  and  spent  the  rest  of  the  night 
in  study  till  prime.  He  preached  with  singular  fire  and 
action.  In  the  Lent  of  1286,  he  broke  a  blood-vessel  as 
he  was  preaching,  and  was  obliged  to  leave  the  pulpit.  The 
haemorrhage  ceasing  next  day,  he  insisted  on  resuming  his 
sermon,  but  the  vessel  burst  again,  and  he  lost  so  much 
blood  that  he  felt  his  hour  was  at  hand.  He  made  his 
general  confession,  and  having  received  the  last  sacraments, 
breathed  forth  his  pure  soul  in  the  sixty-sixth  year  of  his 
age,  on  March  20th,  1286. 


March a,.]       5*.  Seraphn,  B.  of  Thmuis.  371 

March  21. 

SS.  Sirapion,  Mont,  and  Companions,  MM,  at  Alexandria. 

SS.  Martyrs  of  Alexandria,  in  the  reign  of  Constantine,  a.d.  367. 

S.  Serapion,  B.  of  Thmuis,  4/A  cent. 

S.  Lupicinus,  Ab.  of  Con  date,  circ.  a.d.  430. 

S.  Enda,  Ab.  in  Aran-more,  circ.  a.d.  $40. 

S.   BtNEDicT,  Ab.  of  Monte  Catsino,  a.d.  543. 

S.   Elias,  B.  of  Sion  in  the  Palais. 


(4TH    CENT.) 

rRoman  Martyrology.  In  the  ancient  Latin  Martyrologies  is  found  the 
mention  of  S.  Serapion,  Monk  and  Martyr,  and  many  Companions  at 
Alexandria  ;  but  Baronius,  instead,  inserted  in  the  Modern  Roman  Martyr- 
ology another  and  wholly  different  Serapion,  bishop  of  Thmuis  and 
Confessor  in  one  of  the  Arian  persecutions,  when  S.  Athanasius  suffered 
their  pursuit.     This  Serapion  is  mentioned  by  S.  Athanasius.] 

[ERAPION  bishop  of  Thmuis,  in  Egypt,  a  friend 

of  S.  Antony  the  Great,  and  a  champion  of  S. 

Athanasius,  wrote  an  epistle  to  the  great  defender 

of  orthodoxy,  and  another  on  the  death  of  Arius, 

together  with  treatises  on  the  titles  of  the  Psalms,  and  on 

Manichaeism.     He  is  said  by  S.  Jerome  to  have  suffered 

for  his  zeal  in  the  orthodox  cause,  under  Constantius,  when 

the  Arians  were  in  power. 

(about  a.d.  430.) 

fRoman  and  Benedictine  Martyrologies  ;  that  of  Usuardus,  and  that 
attributed  to  Bede.  Authority  :— A  life  by  a  contemporary,  a  monk  of 
Condate,  "  Ego  adhuc  puerulus,"  he  says.  This  life  is  very  curious  from 
its  barbarous  Latin,  teeming  as  it  does  with  words  and  phrases  adopted 
from  the  Burgundian  language.  Also  a  life  of  SS.  Romanus  and  Lupicinus 
by  S.  Gregory  of  Tours,  written  in  the  5th  cent,  see  Feb.  28th.] 

Lupicinus  and  his  younger  brother  Romanus,  seeking 
* * 

* -* 

372  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ax. 

solitude,  climbed  the  rocks  among  the  pines  of  the  Jura, 
and  established  themselves  in  the  wilderness  of  Joux,  living 
on  wild  fruits  and  plants.  They  were  both  young ;  and 
they  soon  found  that  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  maintain 
life  on  the  scanty  food  yielded  by  the  mountains.  They 
therefore  descended  to  the  plains,  and  entered  the  cottage 
of  a  poor  woman,  and  told  her  how  they  had  tried  to  serve 
God  in  the  midst  of  the  rocks,  but  had  found  such  a  life  in- 
supportable. The  woman  sharply  rebuked  them  for  having 
put  their  hand  to  the  plough,  and  then  turned  back,  and 
they  filled  with  shame,  turned  their  faces  once  more  to  the 
mountains,  and  penetrated  its  recesses.  And  then  many 
came  to  them  from  all  quarters,  and  the  grain  and  herbs 
they  had  sown  and  planted  sprang  up,  and  they  cut  down 
trees,  and  built  the  monastery  of  Condate.1  But  soon  the 
place  was  too  strait  for  them,  and  a  colony  went  forth,  and 
founded  Lauconne,  also  in  the  Jura,  and  another  was 
established  at  Romainmoutier.  Lupicinus  was  abbot,  and 
all  obeyed  him.  He  is  said  by  S.  Gregory  of  Tours  to 
have  been  very  austere  and  stern  in  the  maintenance  of 
discipline,  so  that  from  his  harshness  some  brethren  fled, 
but  the  contemporary  writer  gives  a  very  different  picture  of 
him.  A  story  of  his  severity,  with  which  the  mildness  of 
his  brother  contrasts  pleasingly,  has  been  related  in  the  life 
of  S.  Romanus  (Feb.  28th). 

But  if  he  could  be  harsh  at  times,  at  others  he  overflowed 
with  gentleness. 

He  wore  a  rough  garment  made  of  the  skins  of  beasts 
stitched  together,  and  wooden  shoes,  or  rather  sandals.2 
When  others  retired  to  rest  after  singing  vespers,  he  re- 
treated to  his  oratory,  however  cold  the  weather,  meditating 

1  Afterwards  S.  Ouyan,  and  then  S,  Claude,  after  the  bishop  of  Besancon,  who 
reformed  it  in  635, 

*  I.ignea  sola,  quae  vulgo  soccos  morasteria  vocitant  Gallicana,  continuato  est 

* " & 

(j, — Ifc 

March  21.]  S.  Lupicinus.  373 

and  dozing  till  the  midnight  office ;  in  the  quaint  Latin  of 
his  biographer  it  is  said  that  he  entered  the  oratory  "  maedi- 
taturus  potius  quam  repausaturus  "  (to  meditate  rather  than 
to  repose.) 

A  pretty  story  is  told  of  the  tender  care  of  the  abbot 
Lupicinus  for  a  monk  whose  exaggerated  fasting  had 
brought  him  to  such  a  pass  that  it  was  thought  he  could  not 
live  many  days.  This  man,  who  was  younger  than  Lu- 
picinus, not  content  with  the  strict  rule  of  the  house,  refused 
to  eat  and  drink  till  after  vespers,  and  then  he  would  touch 
nothing  but  the  crumbs  which  the  brethren  had  let  fall  on 
the  floor,  which  he  collected  in  his  palm,  and  moistened 
with  a  little  water.  The  result  was  that  he  was  struck  down 
as  with  paralysis,  and  lay  unable  to  move  on  his  pallet, 
ghastly,  and  scarce  breathing.  This  monk  was  so  set  on 
maintaining  his  self-imposed  rule  that  the  abbot  doubted 
for  some  while  how  to  treat  him.  At  last  when  all  the 
brethren  were  at  work  one  bright  spring  day,  he  remained 
behind,  and  going  to  the  monk's  side,  said,  "Come,  my 
brother,  and  let  me  carry  you  on  my  back  into  the  little 
garden ;  you  have  long  been  shut  in  here  in  this  dull  cell, 
unable  to  set  foot  on  the  ground,  and  glad  your  eyes  with 
the  fresh  green  grass."  So  he  set  him  on  his  back,  and 
carried  him  into  the  garden,  and  spread  some  sheepskins  on 
the  herb,  and  lay  the  emaciated  brother  on  it,  and  then  lay 
down  beside  him  as  though  he  were  also  suffering  from 
exhaustion  and  rheumatism.  After  a  while  he  began  to  rub 
his  arms  and  legs,  and  say,  "  Good  God  !  how  comforted  I 
am  by  this.1  Brother,  come,  let  me  rub  your  back  and  legs 
and  arms  also,  it  makes  them  feel  so  much  better."  And 
when  he  had  done  this  for  a  while,  the  brother,  who  lay  half 
torpid,  began  to  stretch  himself  a  bit,  and  spread  out  his 
legs  in  the  sun. 

1  Deus  bone,  qualitcr  comfortatui,  qualiter  Rum  reparatus  ad  horam. 

% _ *ii 

* % 

374  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March «. 

Seeing  this,  the  abbot  ran  to  the  kitchen,  and  got  some 
bits  of  broken  bread,  and  then  went  into  the  cellar  and 
sopped  them  in  the  best  wine,  and  after  that  poured  a  little 
oil  upon  them,  and  came  back  into  the  garden,  holding  out 
what  he  had  got,  exclaiming,  "  Look  1  sweetest  brother, 
away  with  your  self-imposed  severity,  and  doubt  not  it  has 
been  too  hard  for  you,  follow  my  example,  and  obey  my 
advice,"  and  then  he  gave  him  half  of  what  he  had  prepared, 
eating  the  rest  himself,  to  encourage  the  monk.  So  having 
rubbed  him  a  little  more,  and  sung  a  hymn,  and  said  a 
prayer,  he  took  him  up  on  his  back  once  more,  and  carried 
him  back  to  his  cell  again.  Next  day  he  did  precisely  the 
same,  and  so  on  till  the  monk  was  able  to  totter  into  the 
garden,  leaning  upon  him,  and  then  he  amused  him  and 
occupied  him  by  making  him  pick  berries.  And  thus,  by 
degrees,  he  restored  to  his  vigour  a  man  who  was  thought 
to  be  on  the  brink  of  the  grave.  He  lived  many  years 

There  were  two  monks  who,  tired  of  the  discipline,  or 
offended  at  being  set  to  work  that  displeased  them,  resolved 
to  go  away.  They  met  in  the  oratory  at  night,  going 
thither  under  pretence  of  keeping  vigil,  and  one  said  to 
the  other,  "  You  take  spade  and  axe,  and  I  will  carry  off  the 
coverlets,  and  so  we  shall  do  well  where  we  are  going." 
Now  in  a  dark  corner  was  the  abbot  praying,  and  he  heard 
them,  and  he  cried  out,  "  How,  my  children,  is  this  !  Will 
ye,  going  away,  and  disturb  our  peace?"  Then  the  two 
monks  fell  down  dismayed  at  his  feet,  but  he  extending  his 
hands,  put  one  under  each  of  their  chins,  and  stooping  gently, 
kissed  them,  said  no  one  word  of  reproach,  but  betook 
himself  to  the  arms  of  prayer  to  God.  Then  the  two  monks 
stole  back,  penitent  and  humbled,  to  their  beds,  and  one 
remained  at  Condate  till  he  died,  twenty  years  after;  but 
the  second  after  a  while  ran  away,  but  returned  again  to 

* — i 

* . * 

March»'-]  S.  Lupicinus.  375 

Lupicinus,  sorrowful  for  what  he  had  done,  and  resolved  to 
continue  with  him  through  the  rest  of  his  life. 

When  Lupicinus  was  old,  he  sought  king  Chilperic  who 
governed  Burgundy,  and  who  was  then  in  Geneva.1 

He  went  to  him  to  plead  the  cause  of  some  poor  natives 
of  the  Sequanaise,  who  had  been  reduced  into  slavery  by  a 
subordinate  potentate.  This  petty  tyrant  was  one  of 
those  degenerate  Romans,  courtiers  and  oppressors,  who, 
by  flattering  the  new-born  authority  of  the  barbarian 
kings,  found  means  of  trampling  on  and  spoiling  their 
inferiors.  He  was  perhaps  one  of  those  senators  of  Gaul 
whom  the  Burgundians  had  admitted  in  456  to  a  share  of 
the  conquered  soil,  and  Lupicinus,  although  of  Gallo-Roman 
origin,  seems  to  have  been  less  favourably  disposed  towards 
the  Roman  government  than  that  of  the  Barbarians.  Gregory 
of  Tours  has  recorded  a  tradition  which  well  depicts  the 
impression  made  on  the  popular  imagination  by  this  ap- 
parition of  the  monks  confronted  with  the  triumphant 
Barbarians.  He  relates  that  when  Lupicinus  crossed  the 
threshold  of  the  palace  of  Chilperic,  the  throne  upon  which 
the  king  was  seated  trembled,  as  if  there  had  been  an  earth- 
quake. Reassured  at  the  sight  of  the  old  man  clothed  in 
skins,  the  Burgundian  prince  listened  to  the  curious  debate 
which  arose  between  the  oppressor  and  the  advocate  of 
the  oppressed.  "It  is  then  thou,"  said  the  courtier  to 
the  abbot,  "  it  is  thou,  old  impostor,  who  hast  already 
insulted  the  Roman  power  for  ten  years,  by  announcing  that 
all  this  region,  and  its  chiefs,  were  hastening  to  their  ruin." 

1  The  Burgundian  king  Gondccar  had  a  brother  and  a  son,  both  named  Chilperic, 
who  reigned  at  Geneva.  The  son  reigned  only  one  year  after  his  father;  he  was 
killed  by  Gondebald  in  V7-  S.  Romanus  died  in  460.  It  is  probable  that 
his  elder  brother  died  before  him,  and  that  Lupicinus  visited  the  elder  Chil- 
peric. I  have  therefore  supposed  that  he  died  about  430.  The  Bollandists 
supposing  that  it  was  the  younger  Chilperic  he  visited,  have  fixed  his  death 
at  480. 

* -* 

% . * 

376  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  »i. 

"  Yes,  truly,"  answered  the  monk,  pointing  to  the  king,  who 
listened,  "  Yes,  perverse  traitor,  the  ruin  which  I  predicted 
to  thee  and  to  thy  fellows,  there  it  is.  Seest  thou  not,  de- 
generate man,  that  thy  rights  are  destroyed  by  thy  sins,  and 
that  the  prayers  of  the  innocent  are  granted  ?  Seest  thou 
not  that  the  fasces  and  the  Roman  purple  are  compelled  to 
bow  before  a  foreign  judge?  Take  heed  that  some  un- 
expected guest  does  not  come  before  a  new  tribunal  to  claim 
thy  lands  and  thy  domains."  The  king  of  the  Burgundians 
not  only  justified  the  abbot  by  restoring  his  clients  to  liberty, 
but  overwhelmed  him  with  presents,  and  offered  him  fields, 
and  vineyards  for  his  abbey.  Lupicinus  would  only  accept 
a  portion  of  the  produce  of  these  fields  and  vineyards,  fear- 
ing that  the  sentiment  of  too  vast  a  property  might  make 
his  monks  proud.  Then  the  king  decreed  that  they  should 
be  allowed  every  year  three  hundred  measures  of  corn, 
three  hundred  measures  of  wine,  and  a  hundred  gold  pieces 
for  vestments ;  and  the  treasury  of  the  Merovingian  kings 
continued  to  pay  these  dues  long  after  the  fall  of  the  king 
dom  of  the  Burgundians. 

The  old  abbot  was  true  to  his  profession  of  self-mortifica- 
tion to  the  last.  As  he  lay  a  dying  he  asked  for  a  drink  of 
water.  One  of  the  brethren  sweetened  it,  by  pouring  in  a 
spoonful  of  honey.  But  the  dying  man,  when  he  tasted  the 
sweetness,  turned  his  head  away,  and  refused  to  drink. 


(ABOUT  A.D.  540.) 
[Irish  Martyrologies.  Authority  : — A  fragment  of  the  Life  by  Augustine 
MacCrodin,  published  by  Colgan,  written  about  1390.  The  following  ac- 
count of  the  home  of  S.  Enda,  and  sketch  of  his  life,  is  taken  from  the 
Bishop  of  Ardagh's  charming  "Visit  to  Aran-more,"  Brown  and  Nolan, 
Dublin,  1870.] 

S.  Enda,   whose  name   in    Irish  is  written    Einne   and 
*- . — , * 

March  2i.]  ,S.  Enda  of  Aran- More,  $77 

Ende,  and  in  Latin,  Endeus  and  Anna,  was  born  in  Louth 
about  the  middle  of  the  fifth  century,  and  was  the  only  son 
of  Conall,  king  of  Oriel,  whose  territories  included  the 
modern  counties  of  Louth,  Monaghan,  Armagh,  and  Fer- 
managh. Three  of  his  sisters,  Fanchea,  Lochinia,  and 
Carecha,  were  nuns,  and  Darenia,  the  fourth  sister,  was  wife 
of  Engus,  king  of  Cashel,  whose  death  is  placed  by  the 
Four  Masters  in  the  year  489.  On  the  death  of  his  father, 
the  youthful  Enda  was  chosen  to  succeed  him  as  head  of 
the  men  of  Oriel.  The  warlike  spirit  of  the  times  took 
strong  hold  of  the  young  prince's  heart,  and  we  find  him  at 
an  early  period  of  his  life  captivated  by  the  love  of  glory, 
and  eager  to  show  by  his  military  prowess  that  he  was 
worthy  of  the  royal  race  from  which  he  had  sprung,  and  of 
the  throne  which  he  filled.  His  holy  sister,  Fanchea,  was 
incessant  in  her  exertions  to  win  for  God  her  brother's 
heart,  which,  with  all  its  defects,  she  knew  to  be  chivalrous 
and  pure.  For  a  time  her  words  of  warning  and  entreaty 
remained  without  result;  but  the  season  of  grace  came 
soon.  Enda  had  asked  from  his  sister  in  marriage  one  of 
the  royal  maidens  who  were  receiving  their  education  in 
the  convent  which  she  ruled.  Fanchea  communicated  his 
request  to  the  maiden :  "  Make  thou  thy  choice,  whether 
wilt  thou  love  Him  whom  I  love,  or  this  earthly  bride- 
groom ?"  "  Whom  thou  lovest,"  was  the  girl's  sweet  reply, 
"  Him  also  will  I  love."  She  died  soon  after,  and  gave  her 
soul  to  God,  the  Spouse  whom  she  had  chosen. 

"  The  holy  virgin,"  says  the  ancient  life,  "  covered  the 
face  of  the  dead  girl  with  a  veil,  and  going  again  to  Enda, 
said  to  him  :  "  Young  man,  come  and  see  the  maiden  whom 
thou  lovest"  Then  Enda  with  the  virgin  entered  the  cham- 
ber where  was  the  dead  girl,  and  the  holy  virgin  uncovering 
the  face  of  the  lifeless  maiden,  said  to  him  :  "  Now  look 
upon  the  face  of  her  whom  thou  didst  love."    And  Enda 

* — # 

378  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ai. 

cried  out :  "  Alas  !  she  is  fair  no  longer,  but  ghastly  white." 
"So  also  shalt  thy  face  be,"  replied  the  holy  virgin.  And 
then  S.  Fanchea  discoursed  to  him  of  the  pains  of  hell,  and 
of  the  joys  of  heaven,  until  the  young  man's  tears  began  to 
flow.  O  !  the  wondrous  mercy  of  God  in  the  conversion  of 
this  man  to  the  true  faith !  for  even  as  He  changed  the 
haughty  Saul  into  the  humble  Paul,  so  out  of  this  worldly 
prince  did  he  make  a  spiritual  and  a  holy  teacher  and  pastor 
of  His  people.  For  having  heard  the  words  of  the  holy 
virgin,  despising  the  vanities  of  the  world,  he  took  the 
monk's  habit  and  tonsure,  and  what  the  tonsure  signified,  he 
fulfilled  by  his  actions. 

After  having  founded  a  monastery  in  his  native  place,  S. 
Enda  is  said  to  have  proceeded  to  Rosnat  or  Abba,  in 
Britain,  where  he  remained  for  some  time  under  the  spiritual 
direction  of  S.  Mansenus  or  Manchan.  Thence,  according 
to  the  above-mentioned  life,  he  went  to  Rome,  where  "at- 
tentively studying  the  examples  of  the  saints,  and  preparing 
himself  in  everything  for  the  order  of  priesthood,  having  at 
length  been  ordained  priest,  he  was  pleasing  to  the  most 
high  God."  He  built  a  monastery  called  Laetinum  or  the 
Place  of  Joy ;  and  rightly  so  called,  adds  the  life,  "  because 
therein  the  command  of  loving  God  and  our  neighbour  was 
most  faithfully  carried  out" 

Returning  to  Ireland,  he  landed  at  Drogheda,  and  built 
several  churches  on  either  side  of  the  river  Boyne.  He 
then  proceeded  southwards  to  visit  his  brother-in-law,  Engus, 
king  of  Munster,  from  whom  he  asked  the  island  of  Aran, 
that  he  might  dwell  thereon.  The  king  was  first  unwilling 
to  comply  with  his  request ;  not  because  he  was  ungenerous, 
but  because  he  had  learned  from  S.  Patrick  "  not  to  offer  to 
the  Lord  his  God  any  lands  save  such  as  were  good  and 
fertile,  and  easy  of  access."  But  S.  Enda  declared  that 
Aran  was  to  be  the  place  of  his  resurrection  ;  and  at  length 

* * 

K — £, 

March  „j  S.  Enda  of  Aran- More.  379 

the  king  made  an  offering  of  the  island  "  to  God  and  to  S. 
Enda,"  asking  in  return  the  blessing  of  the  saint 

Having  thus  obtained  possession  of  what  he  rightly 
deemed  a  place  of  singular  retirement,  and  well  suited  for 
the  rigours  of  a  penitential  life,  S.  Enda  returned  to  his 
brethren,  and  conducted  them  in  safety  to  the  island,  which 
was  then  inhabited  by  Pagans  from  the  adjacent  coast  of 
Clare.  He  divided  the  island  into  ten  parts,  and  built 
thereon  ten  monasteries,  each  under  the  rule  of  its  proper 
superior.  He  chose  a  place  for  his  own  residence  on  the 
eastern  coast,  and  there  erected  a  monastery,  the  name  and 
site  of  which  is  preserved  to  this  day  in  the  little  village  of 
Kil-eany  (Kill-Enda),  about  a  mile  from  Kilronan.  One 
half  of  the  island  was  assigned  to  this  monastery. 

Then  began  the  blessed  days,  when  the  sweet  odour  of 
penance  ascended  to  heaven  from  the  angelic  band  of  monks, 
who,  under  the  severe  rule  of  S.  Enda,  made  Aran  a  burning 
light  of  sanctity  for  centuries  in  Western  Europe.  "  The 
virginal  saint  from  Aran  Island,"  as  Marianus  O'Gorman 
styles  S.  Enda,  was  to  them  a  model  of  all  the  virtues  of 
the  religious  life,  but,  above  all,  he  excelled  in  the  exercise 
of  penitential  mortifications.  S.  Cuimin  of  Connor  tells  us 
that: — 

Enda  loved  glorious  mortification 
In  Aran  —triumphant  virtue  1 
A  narrow  dungeon  of  flinty  stone, 
To  bring  the  people  to  heaven. 

"  Aran,"  says  Froude,1  "  is  no  better  than  a  wild  rock.  It 
is  strewed  over  with  the  ruins,  which  may  still  be  seen,  of 
the  old  hermitages ;  and  at  their  best  they  could  have  been 
but  such  places  as  sheep  would  huddle  under  in  a  storm, 
and  shiver  in  the  cold  and  wet  which  would  pierce  through 
the  chinks  of  the  walls.     .     .     .     Yes ;  there  on  that  wet 

1  Short  Studies,  vol.  a,  page  ai6. 



380  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  ai. 

soil,  with  that  dripping  roof  above  them,  was  the  chosen 
home  of  these  poor  men.  Through  winter  frost,  through 
rain  and  storm,  through  summer  sunshine,  generation  after 
generation  of  them,  there  they  lived  and  prayed,  and  at  last 
lay  down  and  died." 

These  miracles  of  penance  were  the  first  and  immediate 
results  of  S.  Enda's  work  in  Aran. 

It  was  in  his  life  that  these  holy  men  had  daily  before 
them  the  personal  realization  of  all  they  were  striving  after ; 
he  taught  them  to  cherish  the  flinty  dungeon  and  the  drip- 
ping cave  for  love  of  the  hard  manger  and  the  harder  cross  ; 
he  bade  them  dwell  amid  the  discomforts  and  dreariness  of 
their  island  home,  because  in  the  tabernacles  of  sinners  the 
blessed  majesty  of  God  was  daily  outraged  by  the  crimes 
of  men.  We  cannot,  indeed,  describe  the  details  of  his 
life,  for  they  have  been  hidden  from  human  view,  as  it  is 
becoming  that  such  secrets  of  the  Heavenly  King  should 
be  hidden.  But  there  yet  survives  the  voice  of  one  of 
those  who  lived  with  him  in  Aran,  and  in  the  ideal  of  an 
abbot  which  S.  Carthage  sets  before  us,  we  undoubtedly 
find  re-produced  the  traits  which  distinguished  the  abbot  of 
Aranmore,  from  whom  S.  Carthage  first  learned  to  serve 
God  in  the  religious  life.  S.  Enda  was  his  first  model  of 
the  "patience,  humility,  prayer,  fast,  and  cheerful  abstinence; 
of  the  steadiness,  modesty,  calmness  that  are  due  from  a 
leader  of  religious  men,  whose  office  it  is  to  teach  in  all 
truth,  unity,  forgiveness,  purity,  rectitude  in  all  that  is 
moral ;  whose  chief  works  are  the  constant  preaching  of  the 
Gospel  for  the  instruction  of  all  persons,  and  the  sacrifice  of 
the  Body  of  the  great  Lord  upon  the  holy  altar."1 

The  fame  of  S.  Enda's  austere  holiness,  and  of  the 
angelical  life  which  so  many  were  leading  in  Aran  under  his 
guidance,  soon  spread  far  and  wide  throughout  the  land. 

1  "  Rule  of  S.  Carthage,"  Irish  Ectleiiaitical  Record,  vol.  ».,  p.  117. 




March  ai.]         S.  Enda  of  Aran- More.  381 

Soon,  the  Galway  fishermen,  whom  S.  Enda  had  blessed, 
found  day  after  day  their  corachs  crowded  with  strangers — 
religious  men,  of  meek  eye  and  gentle  face — seeking  to 
cross  over  to  the  island.  And  thus  Aran  gradually  came  to 
be,  as  the  writer  of  the  life  of  S.  Kieran  of  Clonmacnoise 
describes  it,  the  home  of  a  multitude  of  holy  men,  and  the 
sanctuary  where  repose  the  relics  of  countless  saints,  whose 
names  are  known  only  to  the  Almighty  God.  "  Great  in- 
deed is  that  island,"  exclaims  another  ancient  writer,  "  and 
it  is  the  land  of  the  saints,  for  no  one,  save  God  alone, 
knows  how  many  holy  men  lie  buried  therein."1 

But,  although  it  is  not  possible  to  learn  the  names  of  all 
the  saints  who  were  formed  to  holiness  by  S.  Enda  in  Aran, 
the  ancient  records  have  preserved  the  names  of  a  few  at 
least  out  of  that  blessed  multitude.  The  history  of  these 
men  is  the  history  of  S.  Enda's  work  on  Aran.  First 
among  S.  Enda's  disciples  must  be  ranked  S.  Kieran,  the 
founder  of  Clonmacnoise,  who  came  to  Aran  in  his  youth, 
and  for  seven  years  lived  faithfully  in  the  service  of  God, 
under  the  direction  of  S.  Enda.  "During  these  seven 
years,"  says  the  ancient  life  of  our  saint,  "  Kieran  so  dili- 
gently discharged  the  duties  of  grinding  the  corn,  that  grain 
in  quantity  sufficient  to  make  a  heap  never  was  found  in 
the  granary  of  the  island."  Upon  these  humble  labours  the 
light  of  the  future  greatness  of  the  founder  of  Clonmacnoise 
was  allowed  to  shine  in  visions  calling  him  elsewhere, 
But  he  could  not  bring  himself  to  sever  the  happy  ties  that 
bound  him  to  his  abbot.  He  still  longed  to  be  under  his 
guidance,  and  when  recommending  himself  to  the  prayers 
of  his  brethren,  he  said  to  S.  Enda,  in  the  presence  of  all, 
"  O  father,  take  me  and  my  charge  under  thy  protection, 
that  all  my  disciples  may  be  thine  likewise."     "  Not  so," 

1  "  Magna  est  Ilia  Insula,  et  est  terra  sanctnmm  ;  quia   nemo  Belt  numerum 
sanctorum  qui  sepulti  sunt  Ibi,  nisi  solus  Dens."  Vita  S.  Albei.  Colgan,  Acta  SS. 

* ■ — -£, 

* __ — 

382  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March »,. 

answered  Enda,  "  for  it  is  not  the  will  of  God  that  you 
should  all  live  under  my  care  in  this  scanty  island."  And 
when  they  had  thus  spoken,  a  cross  was  set  up  in  the 
place,  in  sign  of  the  brotherhood  they  had  contracted 
between  themselves,  and  those  who  were  to  come  after 
them ;  and  they  said :  "  whosoever  in  after  times  shall 
break  the  loving  bond  of  this  our  brotherhood,  shall  not 
have  share  in  our  love  on  earth,  nor  in  our  company  in 

The  love  which  S.  Enda  bore  towards  his  holy  pupil,  for 
his  many  and  wonderful  virtues,  made  their  parting  singu- 
larly painful  to  them  both.  For  a  time  the  holy  abbot  felt 
as  if  the  angels  of  God  were  leaving  Aran  with  Kieran, 
and  he  could  find  no  relief  for  his  anguish  but  in  prayer. 
The  sternness  of  religious  discipline  had  not  crushed  but 
chastened  the  tenderness  of  an  affectionate  disposition  in 
S.  Enda.  The  entire  community  of  the  island  shared  the 
sorrow  that  had  come  on  their  venerable  abbot.  When 
the  moment  of  departure  was  at  hand,  and  the  boat  that  was 
to  bear  him  from  Aran  was  spreading  its  sails  to  the  breeze, 
Kieran  came  slowly  down  to  the  shore,  walking  between 
S.  Enda  and  S.  Finnian,  and  followed  by  the  entire  brother- 
hood. His  tears  flowed  fast  as  he  moved  along,  and  those 
who  accompanied  him  mingled  their  tears  with  his.  Peter 
de  Blois,  when  leaving  the  abbey  of  Croyland  to  return  to  his 
own  country,  stayed  his  steps  seven  times  to  look  back  and 
contemplate  once  again  the  place  where  he  had  been  so 
happy;  so,  too,  did  Kieran's  gaze  linger  with  tenderness  upon 
the  dark  hills  of  Aran  and  on  the  oratories  where  he  had 
learned  to  love  God,  and  to  feel  how  good  and  joyous  a  thing 
it  is  to  dwell  with  brethren  whose  hearts  are  at  one  with  each 
other  in  God.  And  when  the  shore  was  reached,  again  he 
knelt  to  ask  his  father's  blessing,  and,  entering  the  boat,  was 
carried  away  from  the  Aran  that  he  was  never  to  see  again. 

* * 

* * 

March  3i.]  .S*.  Enda  of  Aran- More.  383 

The  monastic  group  stayed  for  a  while  on  the  rocks  to  follow 
with  longing  eyes  the  bark  that  was  bearing  from  them  him 
they  loved ;  and  when  at  length,  bending  their  steps  home- 
wards, they  had  gone  some  distance  from  the  shore,  S. 
Enda's  tears  once  more  began  to  flow.  "  O  my  brethren," 
cried  he,  "  good  reason  have  I  to  weep,  for  this  day  has 
our  island  lost  the  flower  and  strength  of  religious  obser- 
vance." What  was  loss  to  Aran,  however,  was  gain  to 
Clonmacnoise,  and  through  Clonmacnoise  to  the  entire 
Irish  Church. 

Next  among  the  saints  of  Aran  comes  S.  Brendan. 
S.  Finnian  of  Moville  (March  18th)  is  also  mentioned  in 
the  ancient  life  of  our  saint  as  one  of  S.  Enda's  disciples 
at  Aran.  The  Irish  life  of  S.  Columbkille  makes  mention 
of  the  sojourn  of  that  great  saint  on  Aran.  The  deep 
love  of  S.  Columba  for  Aran,  the  sorrow  with  which  he 
quitted  its  shores  for  Iona,  are  expressed  in  a  poem,  written 
by  him  on  his  departure. 

Aran,  ihe  Rome  of  the  pilgrims. 
Aran  thou  sun — O  1  Aran  thou  sun  ! 

My  affection  lies  with  thee  westward  ; 
Alike  to  be  under  her  pure  earth  interred, 

As  under  the  earth  of  Peter  and  Paul. 

The  ancient  life  of  S.  Enda  also  reckons  among  the  inha- 
bitants of  Aran  S.  Finnian  the  elder,  the  founder  of  the  great 
school  of  Clonard ;  S.  Jarlath,  the  founder  of  the  see  of 
Tuam ;  S.  Mac  Creiche,  of  the  race  of  the  men  of  Cor- 
comroe,  who  were  in  possession  of  Aran  when  S.  Enda  first 
went  thither.  The  Martyrology  of  Donegal  makes  mention 
of  S.  Guigneus  ;  the  Martyrology  of  Aengus  adds  S.  Papeus, 
S.  Kevin  of  Glendaloch,  S.  Carthage  of  Lismore,  S.  Lonan 
Kerr,  S.  Nechanus,  and  S.  Libeus,  brother  of  S.  Enda. 
In  the  midst  of  this  holy  brotherhood  S.  Enda  died  in  540 
or  542. 

384  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  n. 

The  sight  of  Aran  peopled  by  this  host  of  saints  forcibly 
recalls  to  mind  that  other  island,  where,  in  an  age  of  wild 
and  fierce  passions,  the  arts  of  peace,  religious  learning,  and 
the  highest  Christian  virtues,  found  a  sanctuary.  At  the  be- 
ginning of  the  sixth  century,  Aran  may,  with  truth,  be  styled 
the  Lerins  of  the  Northern  seas.  True,  its  bare  flags  and 
cold  grey  landscape  contrast  sadly  with  "the  gushing 
streams,  the  green  meadows,  the  luxuriant  wealth  of  vines, 
the  fair  valleys,  and  the  fragrant  scents  which,"  according 
to  S.  Eucherius,  "  made  Lerins  the  paradise  of  those  who 
dwelt  thereon."1  However,  its  very  wildness  did  but 
make  it  richer  in  those  attractions  so  well  described  by  S. 
Ambrose,  which  made  the  outlying  islands  so  dear  to  the 
religious  men  of  that  time.2  They  loved  those  islands, 
"which,  as  a  necklace  of  perils,  God  has  set  upon  the 
bosom  of  the  sea,  and  in  which  those  who  would  fly  from 
the  irregular  pleasures  of  the  world,  may  find  a  refuge 
wherein  to  practise  austerity  and  save  themselves  from  the 
snares  of  this  life.  In  it  these  faithful  and  pious  men  find 
incentives  to  devotion.  The  mysterious  sound  of  the 
billows  calls  for  the  answering  sound  of  sacred  psalmody ; 
and  the  peaceful  voices  of  holy  men,  mingled  with  the 
gentle  murmur  of  the  waves  breaking  softly  on  the  shore 
rise  in  unison  to  the  heavens." 

On  a  summer's  day  in  the  year  1870,  says  the  Bishop 
of  Ardagh,  we  set  sail  to  visit  the  remote  Aran,  which  the 
virtues  of  S.  Enda  had  changed  from  a  Pagan  isle  into  Aran 
of  the  Saints.  And  as  the  faint  breeze  bore  us  slowly 
over  the  waters  that  lay  almost  motionless  in  the  summer 
calm,  we  gazed  with  admiration  upon  a  scene  which 
was  but  little  changed  since  S.  Enda  and  his  pilgrim  band 
had  first  looked  upon  it.  Before  us  there  lay  stretched 
out   the  same    expanse   of  sea,  fringed   on   one   side   by 

1  S.  Eucherius  De  laude  EremI,  44a.         *  Hexatmeron,  lib.  3,  c.  j. 



March 21.]  S.  Enda  of  Aran- More.  385 

the  dark  plains  of  Iar-Connaught,  along  which  the  eye 
travelled  from  the  white  cliffs  of  Barna  to  where  the 
Connemara  mountains,  in  soft  blue  masses,  stood  out  in 
fantastic  clusters  against  the  sky.  On  the  other  side  ran 
the  Clare  coastline,  now  retreating  before  the  deep  sea- 
inlets,  and  now  breasting  the  Atlantic  with  bold  promon- 
tories like  that  of  gloomy  Black-Head,  or  with  gigantic 
cliffs  like  those  of  Mohir.  And  as  the  day  closed,  and  we 
watched  the  evening  breeze  steal  out  from  land,  crisping 
the  water  into  wavelets  that  rippled  against  the  vessel's 
side;  and  as  we  saw  the  golden  glory  of  the  sunset 
flush  with  indescribable  loveliness,  earth,  and  sea,  and  sky, 
we  thought  how  often  in  bygone  days,  the  view  of  Aran 
rising,  as  we  then  saw  it,  out  of  the  sunlit  waves,  had 
brought  joy  to  the  pilgrim  who  was  journeying  to  find  rest 
upon  its  rocky  shore. 

The  Aran  isles  are  three  in  number,  named  respectively, 
Inishmore  (the  large  island),  Inishmain  (the  middle  island), 
and  Inisheen  (the  eastern  island).  The  eastern  island  is  the 
smallest  of  the  three,  and  is  about  two-and-a-half  miles  long; 
the  middle  island  is  three  miles  long ;  the  largest  is  about 
nine  miles  in  length,  and  twenty-four  in  circumference. 

Our  chief  interest  was  naturally  centred  in  the  group  of 
buildings  which  exist  at  Killeany,  and  consist  of  the  church 
of  S.  Benignus,  the  church  of  S.  Enda,  the  round  tower  of 
S.  Enda,  and  the  stone  houses  in  its  immediate  vicinity. 
Our  readers  will  have  remarked  that  the  first  six  churches 
named  in  Dr.  Keely's  list,  all  stood  near  each  other,  and  to 
the  north  of  the  present  village  of  Killeany.  Out  of  six 
churches  which  existed  here  as  late  as  1645,  f°ur  have 
almost  entirely  disappeared.  They  were  demolished  by 
unholy  hands  for  the  sake  of  materials  to  build  the  castle 
of  Arkin. 

The  church  known  as  Teglach  Enda,  wherein  S.  Enda 

vol.  in.  25 


386  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  «t. 

was  laid,  still  exists  on  the  shore ;  it  is  in  good  preservation, 
and  is  a  fine  specimen  of  the  single  church  without  chancel. 
It  is  twenty-four  feet  in  length  and  fourteen  in  breadth. 
All  the  walls  now  standing  are  by  no  means  of  an  equal 
antiquity.  The  eastern  gable  and  part  of  the  northern  side 
wall  are  the  only  parts  belonging  to  S.  Enda's  time,  the 
remainder  of  the  building  being  the  work  of  a  later  period. 
Around  the  church  spreads  the  cemetery,  now  almost 
completely  covered  up  by  the  sands,  in  which  the  body  of 
S.  Enda,  and  those  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  other  saints, 
are  interred. 

On  the  hill  side,  are  S.  Enda's  well,  and  altar ;  the  latter 
surmounted  by  a  rude  cross.  S.  Enda's  well,  and  indeed 
all  the  other  wells  we  saw  in  the  island,  are  carefully  pro- 
tected by  the  Araners  ;  the  scarcity  of  water  rendering  the 
possession  of  a  well  almost  as  precious  to  them  as  it 
was  to  the  Eastern  shepherds  in  the  days  of  Rebecca. 
At  a  short  distance  to  the  left  of  the  well,  stands  the 
remnant  of  the  round  tower  of  S.  Enda.  Once  its  height 
was  worthy  of  the  cluster  of  sacred  temples  which  stood 
within  the  circle  traversed  by  the  shadow  it  projected  in 
the  changing  hours ;  but  now  it  is  little  more  than  thirteen 
feet  high.  An  aged  man  who  joined  our  group,  told 
us  that  in  S.  Enda's  time  the  mass  was  not  commenced  in 
any  of  the  churches  of  the  island,  until  the  bell  from 
S.  Enda's  tower  announced  that  S.  Enda  himself  had  taken 
his  place  at  the  altar  in  his  own  church. 

With  the  permission  of  the  excellent  priest  who  has 
charge  of  the  island,  we  resolved,  on  the  last  morning 
of  our  stay  on  Aran,  to  celebrate  mass  in  the  ruined  church 
of  Teglach-Enda,  where  in  the  year  540  or  542,  S.  Enda 
was  interred.  The  morning  was  bright  and  clear,  and  the 
rigid  outlines  of  the  rocks  were  softened  by  the  touch  of  the 
early  sunshine.    The  inhabitants  of  Killeany,  exulting  in  the 


March  ax.]  /T.  Enda  of  Aran- More.  387 

tidings  that  the  Holy  Sacrifice  was  once  again  to  be  offered 
to  God  near  the  shrine  of  their  sainted  patron,  accompanied 
or  followed  us  to  the  venerable  ruins.  The  men,  young  and 
old,  were  clothed  in  decent  black,  or  in  white  garments  of 
home-made  stuff,  with  sandals  of  undressed  leather,  like 
those  of  the  peasants  of  the  Abruzzi,  laced  round  their  feet ; 
the  women  were  attired  in  gay  scarlet  gowns  and  blue 
bodices,  and  all  wore  a  look  of  remarkable  neatness  and 
comfort.  The  small  roofless  church  was  soon  filled  to  over- 
flowing with  a  decorous  and  devout  congregation. 

We  can  never  forget  the  scene  of  that  morning :  the 
pure  bright  sand,  covering  the  graves  of  unknown  and 
unnumbered  saints  as  with  a  robe  of  silver  tissue ;  the 
delicate  green  foliage  of  the  wild  plants ;  on  one  side,  the 
swelling  hill  crowned  with  the  church  of  S.  Benignus,  and  on 
the  other  the  blue  sea,  that  almost  bathed  the  foundations 
of  the  venerable  sanctuary  itself;  the  soft  balmy  air  that 
hardly  stirred  the  ferns  on  the  old  walls ;  and  the  fresh, 
happy,  solemn  calm  that  reigned  over  all. 

The  temporary  altar  was  set  up  under  the  east  window, 
on  the  site  where  of  old  the  altar  stood ;  and  there,  in  the 
midst  of  the  loving  and  simple  faithful,  within  the  walls 
which  had  been  consecrated  some  twelve  hundred  years 
before,  over  the  very  spot  ot  earth  where  so  many  of  the 
saints  of  Ireland  lay  awaiting  their  resurrection  to  glory,  the 
solemn  rite  of  the  Christian  Sacrifice  was  performed,  and 
once  more,  as  in  the  days  cf  which  S.  Columba  wrote,  the 
angels  of  God  came  down  to  worship  the  Divine  Victim  in 
the  Churches  of  Aran. 

% g 

388  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  n. 


(a-d.    543.) 

[Roman  Martyrology,  Benedictine,  that  of  Bede.  Greek  Menologium 
on  March  14th.  Authorities : — Life  written  by  S.  Gregory  the  Great,  in 
the  second  book  of  his  dialogues  ;  S.  Gregory  received  his  information 
from  the  lips  of  four  disciples  of  the  holy  patriarch,  Cbnstantine,  Honor- 
atus,  Valentinian,  and  Simplicius,  the  two  first  of  whom  had  succeeded 
him  as  abbots  respectively  of  Monte  Cassino  and  Subiaco.  Also  the 
Chronicon  Casinense,  the  first  three  books  containing  the  life  of  S.  Bene- 
dict by  Leo  Marsicanus,  B.  of  Ostia,  a  monk  of  Monte  Casino ;  the  fourth 
book  was  added  by  Paulus  Diacomus.  The  following  life  has  been  con- 
densed from  that  by  M.  de  Montalembert  in  his  "Monks  of  the  West."] 

S.  Benedict  was  born  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  480. 
Europe  has,  perhaps,  never  known  a  more  calamitous  or 
apparently  desperate  period  than  that  which  reached  its 
climax  at  this  date.  Confusion,  corruption,  despair,  and 
death  were  everywhere;  social  dismemberment  seemed 
complete.  Authority,  morals,  laws,  sciences,  arts,  religion 
herself,  might  have  been  supposed  condemned  to  irremedi- 
able ruin.  The  germs  of  a  splendid  and  approaching 
revival  were  still  hidden  from  all  eyes  under  the  ruins  of  a 
crumbling  world.  The  Church  was  more  than  ever  infected 
by  heresy,  schisms,  and  divisions,  which  the  obscure  suc- 
cessors of  S.  Leo  the  Great  in  the  Holy  See  endeavoured  in 
vain  to  repress.  In  all  the  ancient  Roman  world  there  did 
not  exist  a  prince  who  was  not  either  a  pagan,  an  Arian,  or 
an  Eutychian.  The  monastic  institution,  after  having  given 
so  many  doctors  and  saints  to  the  Church  in  the  East,  was 
drifting  toward  that  descent  which  it  never  was  doomed  to 
reascend ;  and  even  in  the  West,  some  symptoms  of  prema- 
ture decay  had  already  appeared. 

Germany  was  still  entirely  pagan,  as  was  also  Great  Britain, 
where  the  new-born  faith  had  been  stifled  by  the  Angles  and 
Saxons.      Gaul  was  invaded  on  the  north  by  the  pagan 

— * 

S.    BENEDICT.     After  Cahier. 

March,  p.  388.] 

[March  31. 

March  2i.]  .S.  Benedict.  389 

Franks,  and  on  the  south  by  the  Arian  Burgundians.  Spain 
was  overrun  and  ravaged  by  the  Visigoths,  the  Sueves,  the 
Alans,  and  the  Vandals,  all  Arians.  The  same  Vandals, 
under  the  successor  of  Genseric,  made  Christian  Africa 
desolate,  by  a  persecution  more  unpitying  and  refined  in 
cruelty  than  those  of  the  Roman  emperors.  In  a  word,  all 
those  countries  into  which  the  first  disciples  of  Jesus  Christ 
carried  the  faith,  had  fallen  a  prey  to  barbarianism.  The 
world  had  to  be  re-conquered. 

Amidst  this  universal  darkness  and  desolation,  history 
directs  our  gaze  towards  those  heights  in  the  centre  of  Italy, 
and  at  the  gates  of  Rome,  which  detach  themselves  from 
the  chain  of  the  Apennines,  and  extend  from  the  ancient 
country  of  the  Sabines  to  that  of  the  Samnites.  A  single 
solitary  was  about  to  form  there  a  centre  of  spiritual  virtue, 
and  to  light  it  up  with  a  splendour  destined  to  shine  over 
regenerated  Europe  for  ten  centuries  to  come. 

Fifty  miles  to  the  west  of  Rome,  among  that  group  of 
hills  where  the  Anio  hollows  a  deep  gorge,  the  traveller, 
ascending  by  the  course  of  the  river,  reaches  a  basin,  which 
opens  out  between  two  immense  walls  of  rock,  and  from 
which  a  limpid  stream  pours  from  fall  to  fall,  to  a  place 
called  Subiaco.  This  grand  and  picturesque  site  had  at- 
tracted the  attention  of  Nero.  He  confined  the  waters  of 
the  Anio  by  dams,  and  constructed  artificial  lakes  below, 
before  a  delicious  villa,  which,  from  its  position,  assumed 
the  name  of  Sublaqueum,  and  of  which  some  shapeless 
ruins  remain.  Four  centuries  after  Nero,  when  solitude 
and  silence  had  long  replaced  the  imperial  orgies,  a  young 
patrician  flying  from  the  delights  and  dangers  of  Rome, 
sought  there  a  refuge  with  God.  He  ha*d  been  baptized 
under  the  name  of  Benedictus,  or  the  Blessed.  He  belonged 
to  the  illustrious  Anician  family ;  by  his  mother's  side  he 
was  the  last  scion  of  the  lords  of  Nursia,  where  he  was 

4* * 

tf< ■ — - — ■ ' 

390  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March ». 

born,  as  has  been  said,  in  480.  He  was  scarce  fourteen 
when  he  resolved  to  renounce  fortune,  his  family,  and  the 
happiness  of  this  world.  Leaving  his  old  nurse,  who  had 
been  the  first  to  love  him,  and  who  alone  followed  him  still, 
he  plunged,  in  494,  into  these  wild  gorges,  and  ascended 
those  savage  hills.  On  the  way  he  met  a  monk,  named 
Romanus,  who  gave  him  a  hair  shirt  and  a  monastic  habit 
made  of  skin.1  Proceeding  on  his  ascent,  and  reaching 
the  middle  of  the  abrupt  rock,  which  faces  the  south,  and 
which  overhangs  the  Anio,  he  discovered  a  dark  cave,  a  sort 
of  den,  unillumined  by  the  sun.  He  there  took  up  his 
abode,  and  remained  unknown  to  all,  except  the  monk 
Romanus,  who  fed  him  with  the  remainder  of  his  own 
scanty  fare,  but  who,  not  being  able  to  reach  his  cell,  trans- 
mitted to  him  every  day,  at  the  end  of  a  cord,  a  loaf  and  a 
little  bell,  the  sound  of  which  warned  him  of  this  sustenance 
which  charity  had  provided  for  him. 

He  lived  three  entire  years  in  this  tomb.  The  shepherds 
who  discovered  him  there  at  first  took  him  for  a  wild  beast, 
but  by  his  discourses,  and  the  efforts  he  made  to  instil  grace 
and  piety  into  their  rustic  souls,  they  recognised  in  him  a 
servant  of  God.  Temptations  were  not  wanting  to  him. 
The  allurements  of  voluptuousness  acted  so  strongly  on  his 
excited  senses,  that  he  was  on  the  point  of  leaving  his  re- 
treat to  seek  after  a  woman  whose  beauty  had  formerly  im- 
pressed him,  and  whose  memory  haunted  him  incessantly. 
But  there  was  near  his  grotto  a  clump  of  thorns  and  briers  : 
he  took  off  the  vestments  of  skins,  which  was  his  only  dress, 
and  rolled  himself  among  them  naked  till  his  body  was  all 
one  wound,  but  also  till  he  had  extinguished  for  ever  the 
infernal  fire  which  inflamed  him  even  in  the  desert. 

Seven  centuries  later,  another  saint,  father  of  the  most 
numerous  monastic  family  which  the  church  has  produced 

1  The  locality  of  the  meeting  is  indicated  by  a  chapel  called  S.  Crocella. 
* -* 

March  si.]  ,S.  Benedict.  391 

after  that  of  S.  Benedict,  S.  Francis  of  Assisi,  came  to  visit 
that  wild  site,  which  was  worthy  to  rival  the  bare  Tuscan 
rock,  where  the  stigmata  of  the  passion  were  imprinted  on 
himself.  He  prostrated  himself  before  the  thicket  of  thorns 
which  had  been  a  triumphal  bed  to  the  masculine  virtue  of 
the  patriarch  of  the  monks,  and  after  having  bathed  with  his 
tears  the  soil  of  that  glorious  battle-field,  he  planted  there 
two  rose  trees.  The  roses  of  S.  Francis  grew,  and  have 
survived  the  Benedictine  briers.  This  garden,  twice  sancti- 
fied, still  occupies  a  sort  of  triangular  plateau,  which  pro- 
jects upon  the  side  of  the  rock,  a  little  before  and  beneath 
the  grotto  which  sheltered  S.  Benedict  The  eye,  confined 
on  all  sides  by  rocks,  can  survey  freely  only  the  azure  of 
heaven.  It  is  the  last  of  those  sacred  places  visited  and 
venerated  in  the  celebrated  and  unique  monastery  of  the 
Iagro  Speco,  which  forms  a  series  of  sanctuaries,  built  one 
over  the  other,  backed  by  the  mountain  which  Benedict  has 
immortalized.  Such  was  the  hard  and  savage  cradle  of -the 
monastic  order  in  the  West.  It  was  from  this  tomb,  where 
the  delicate  son  of  the  last  patricians  of  Rome  buried  him- 
self alive,  that  the  definite  form  of  monastic  life — that  is  to 
say,  the  perfection  of  Christian  life — was  born. 

The  solitude  of  the  young  anchorite  was  not  long  re- 
spected. The  faithful  in  the  neighbourhood,  who  brought 
him  food  for  the  body,  asked  the  bread  of  life  in  return. 
The  monks  of  a  neighbouring  monastery,  situated  near  Vico 
Varo,  obtained,  by  dint  of  importunity,  his  consent  to  be- 
come their  ruler,  but,  soon  disgusted  by  his  austerity,  they 
endeavoured  to  poison  him.  He  made  the  sign  of  the 
cross  over  the  vessel  which  contained  the  poison,  and  it 
broke  as  if  it  had  been  struck  with  a  stone.  He  left  these 
unworthy  monks,  to  re-enter  joyfully  his  beloved  cavern, 
and  to  live  by  himself  alone.  But  it  was  in  vain  :  he  soon 
found  himself  surrounded  by  such  a  multitude  of  disciples, 

>j, — — >£ 

392  Lives  of  the  Saints.  (March «. 

that,  to  give  them  a  shelter,  he  was  compelled  to  found  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  his  retreat  twelve  monasteries,  each 
inhabited  by  twelve  monks.  He  kept  some  with  him,  in 
order  to  direct  them  himself,  and  was  thus  finally  raised  to 
be  the  superior  of  a  numerous  community  of  cenobites. 

Clergy  and  laymen,  Romans  and  barbarians,  victors  and 
vanquished,  alike  flocked  to  him,  attracted  by  the  fame  of 
his  virtue  and  miracles.  While  the  celebrated  Theodoric, 
at  the  head  of  his  Goths,  up  to  that  time  invincible,  de- 
stroyed the  ephemeral  kingdom  of  the  Hercules,  seized 
Rome,  and  overspread  Italy,  other  Goths  came  to  seek 
faith,  penitence,  and  monastic  discipline  under  the  laws  of 
Benedict.  At  his  command  they  armed  themselves  with 
axes  and  hatchets,  and  employed  their  robust  strength  in 
rooting  out  the  brushwood  and  clearing  the  soil,  which, 
since  the  time  of  Nero,  had  again  become  a  wilderness. 
The  Italian  painters  of  the  great  ages  of  art  have  left  us 
many  representations  of  the  legend  told  by  S.  Gregory,  in 
which  S.  Benedict  restores  to  a  Goth  who  had  become  a 
convert  at  Subiaco,  the  tool  which  that  zealous  but  un- 
skilled workman  had  dropped  to  the  bottom  of  the  lake, 
and  which  the  abbot  miraculously  brought  forth.  "  Take 
thy  tool,"  said  Benedict  to  the  barbarian  woodcutter, — 
"  take  it,  work,  and  be  comforted."  Symbolical  words,  in 
which  we  find  an  abridgment  of  the  precepts  and  examples 
lavished  by  the  monastic  order  on  so  many  generations  of 
conquering  races  :  Ecce  labor  a. 

Beside  these  barbarians  already  occupied  in  restoring  the 
cultivation  of  that  Italian  soil  which  their  brethren  in  arms 
still  wasted,  were  many  children  of  the  Roman  nobility, 
whom  their  fathers  had  confided  to  Benedict  to  be  trained 
to  the  service  of  God.  Among  these  young  patricians  are 
two  whose  names  are  celebrated  in  Benedictine  annals : 
Maur,  whom  the  abbot  Benedict  made  his  own  coadjutor ; 

*b~ * 


From  a  Fresco,  by  Spinelli  d'Arezzo,  in  the  Church  of  San  Miniato,  near  Florence. 

March,  p.  392.] 

[March  21. 

March  ai.]  6*.  Benedict.  393 

and  Placidus,  whose  father  was  lord  of  the  manor  of  Subiaco, 
which  did  not  prevent  his  son  from  rendering  menial  ser- 
vices to  the  community,  such  as  drawing  water  from  the 
lake  of  Nero.  The  weight  of  his  pitcher  one  day  over- 
balanced him,  and  he  fell  into  the  lake.  We  shall  leave 
Bossuet  to  tell  the  rest,  in  his  panegyric,  delivered  twelve 
centuries  afterwards  before  the  sons  of  the  founder  of 
Subiaco : — 

"  S.  Benedict  ordered  S.  Maur,  his  faithful  disciple,  to 
run  quickly  and  draw  the  child  out.  At  the  word  of  his 
master,  Maur  went  away  without  hesitation,  .  .  .  and 
full  of  confidence  in  the  order  he  had  received,  walked  upon 
the  water  with  as  much  security  as  upon  the  earth,  and  drew 
Placidus  from  the  whirlpool,  which  would  have  swallowed 
him  up.  To  what  shall  I  attribute  so  great  a  miracle,  whe- 
ther to  the  virtue  of  the  obedience  or  to  that  of  the  com- 
mandment ?  A  doubtful  question,  says  S.  Gregory,  between 
S.  Benedict  and  S.  Maur.  But  let  us  say,  to  decide  it,  that 
the  obedience  had  grace  to  accomplish  the  command,  and 
that  the  command  had  grace  to  give  efficacy  to  the  obedi- 
ence. Walk,  my  fathers,  upon  the  waves  with  the  help  of 
obedience  ;  you  shall  find  solid  support  amid  the  incon- 
stancy of  human  things.  The  waves  shall  have  no  power 
to  overthrow  you,  nor  the  depths  to  swallow  you  up  ;  you 
shall  remain  immovable,  as  if  all  was  firm  under  your  feet, 
and  issue  forth  victorious." 

However,  Benedict  had  the  ordinary  fate  of  great  men 
and  saints.  The  great  number  of  conversions  worked  by 
th#  example  and  fame  of  his  austerity,  awakened  a 
homicidal  envy  against  him.  A  wicked  priest  of  the 
neighbourhood  attempted  first  to  decry  and  then  poison 
him.  Iking  unsuccessful  in  both,  he  endeavoured  at  least 
to  injure  him  in  the  object  of  his  most  tender  solicitude — 
in   the  souls  of  his  young  disciples.     For  that  purpose  he 

* * 

394  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March n. 

sent,  even  into  the  garden  of  the  monaster)',  where  Benedict 
dwelt,  and  where  the  monks  laboured,  seven  wretched 
women,  whose  gestures,  sports,  and  shameful  nudity,  were 
designed  to  tempt  the  young  monks  to  certain  fall.  When 
Benedict,  from  the  threshold  of  his  cell,  perceived  these 
shameless  creatures,  he  despaired  of  his  work ;  he  acknow- 
ledged that  the  interest  of  his  beloved  children  constrained 
him  to  disarm  so  cruel  an  enmity  by  retreat.  He  appointed 
superiors  to  the  twelve  monasteries  which  he  had  founded, 
and,  taking  with  him  a  small  number  of  disciples,  he  left  for 
ever  the  wild  gorges  of  Subiaco,  where  he  had  lived  for 
thirty-five  years. 

Without  withdrawing  from  the  mountainous  region  which 
extends  along  the  western  side  of  the  Apennines,  Benedict 
directed  his  steps  toward  the  south,  along  the  Abruzzi,  and 
penetrated  into  that  land  of  labour,  the  name  of  which 
seems  naturally  suited  to  a  soil  destined  to  be  the  cradle  of 
the  most  laborious  men  whom  the  world  has  known.  He 
ended  his  journey  in  a  scene  very  different  from  that  of 
Subiaco,  but  of  incomparable  grandeur  and  majesty.  There 
upon  the  boundaries  of  Sammim  and  Campania,  in  the 
centre  of  a  large'basin,  half-surrounded  by  abrupt  and  pic- 
turesque heights,  rises  a  scarped  and  isolated  hill,  the  vast 
and  rounded  summit  of  which  overlooks  the  course  of  the 
Liris  near  its  fountain  head,  and  the  undulating  plain  which 
extends  south  towards  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  and 
the  narrow  valleys  which,  towards  the  north,  the  east,  and 
the  west,  lost  themselves  in  the  lines  of  the  mountainous 
horizon.     This  is  Monte  Cassino.  a 

It  was  here,  amidst  this  solemn  nature,  and  upon  that 
predestinated  height,  that  the  patriarch  of  the  monks  of  the 
west  founded  the  capital  of  the  monastic  order.  He  found 
paganism  still  surviving  there.  Two  hundred  years  after 
Constantine,  in  the  heart  of    Christendom,   and   so  near 


March  2i.]  S.  Benedict.  395 

Rome,  there  still  existed  a  very  ancient  temple  of  Apollo, 
and  a  sacred  wood,  where  a  multitude  of  peasants  sacrificed 
to  the  gods  and  demons.  Benedict  preached  the  faith  of 
Christ  to  these  forgotten  people  ;  he  persuaded  them  to  cut 
down  the  wood,  to  overthrow  the  temple  and  the  idol. 

Upon  these  remains  Benedict  built  two  oratories,  one 
dedicated  to  S.  John  the  Baptist,  the  first  solitary  of  the 
new  faith ;  the  other  to  S.  Martin,  the  great  monk-bishop, 
whose  ascetic  and  priestly  life  had  edified  Gaul,  and 
reached  as  far  as  Italy. 

Round  these  chapels  rose  the  monastery  which  was  to 
become  the  most  powerful  and  celebrated  in  the  Catholic 
universe ;  celebrated  especially  because  there  Benedict 
wrote  his  rule,  and  at  the  same  time  formed  the  type  which 
was  to  serve  as  a  model  to  innumerable  communities  sub- 
mitted to  that  sovereign  code.  It  is  for  this  reason  that 
emulous  pontiffs,  princes,  and  nations  have  praised,  en- 
dowed, and  visited  the  sanctuary  where  monastic  religion, 
according  to  the  expression  of  Pope  Urban  II.,  "flowed 
from  the  heart  of  Benedict  as  from  a  fountain-head  of 

Benedict  ended  his  life  at  Monte  Cassino,  where  he  lived 
for  fourteen  years,  occupied,  in  the  first  place,  with  extir- 
pating from  the  surrounding  country  the  remnants  of 
paganism,  afterwards  in  building  his  monastery  by  the 
hands  of  his  disciples,  in  cultivating  the  arid  sides  of  his 
mountain,  and  the  devasted  plains  around,  but  above  all,  in 
extending  to  all  who  approached  him  the  benefits  of  the 
law  of  God,  practised  with  a  fervour  and  charity  which 
none  have  surpassed.  Although  he  had  never  been 
invested  with  the  priestly  character,  his  life  at  Monte 
Cassino  was  rather  that  of  a  missionary  and  apostle  than 
of  a  solitary.  He  was,  notwithstanding,  the  vigilant  head 
of  a  commnnity  which  flourished  and  increased  more  and 


396  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March «. 

more.  Accustomed  to  subdue  himself  in  everything,  and 
to  struggle  with  the  infernal  spirits,  whose  temptations  and 
appearances  were  not  wanting  to  him  more  than  to  the 
ancient  fathers  of  the  desert,  he  had  acquired  the  gift  of 
reading  souls,  and  discerning  their  most  secret  thoughts. 
He  used  this  faculty  not  only  to  direct  the  young  monks, 
who  always  gathered  in  such  numbers  round  him,  in  their 
studies  and  the  labours  of  agriculture  and  building  which  he 
shared  with  them ;  but  even  in  the  distant  journeys  on  which 
they  were  sometimes  sent,  he  followed  them  by  a  spiritual 
observation,  discovered  their  least  failings,  reprimanded 
them  on  their  return,  and  bound  them  in  everything  to  a 
strict  fulfilment  of  the  rule  which  they  had  accepted.  He 
exacted  from  all,  the  obedience,  sincerity,  and  austerely 
regulated  life  of  which  he  himself  gave  the  first  example. 

Many  young  men  of  rich  and  noble  families  came  here, 
as  at  Subiaco,  to  put  themselves  under  his  direction,  or 
were  confided  to  him  by  their  parents.  They  laboured  with 
the  other  brethren  in  the  cultivation  of  the  soil  and  the 
building  of  the  monastery,  and  were  bound  to  all  the 
services  imposed  by  the  rule.  Some  of  the  young  nobles 
rebelled  in  secret  against  that  equality.  Among  these, 
according  to  the  narrative  of  S.  Gregory,  was  the  son  of  a 
defender — that  is  to  say,  of  the  first  magistrate  of  a  town  or 
province.  One  evening,  it  being  his  turn  to  light  the  Abbot 
Benedict  at  supper,  while  he  held  the  candlestick  before  the 
abbotial  table,  his  pride  rose  within  him,  and  he  said  to 
himself,  "  What  is  this  man  that  I  should  thus  stand  before 
him  while  he  eats,  with  a  candle  in  my  hand  like  a  slave  ? 
Am  I  then  made  to  be  his  slave  ?"  Immediately  Benedict, 
as  if  he  had  heard  him,  reproved  him  sharply  for  that 
movement  of  pride,  gave  the  candle  to  another,  and  sent 
him  back  to  his  cell,  dismayed  to  find  himself  at  once 
discovered  and  restrained  in  his  most  secret  thoughts.     It 


March  ji.]  .S*.  Benedict.  397 

was  then  that  the  great  legislator  inagurated  in  his  new- 
formed  cloister  that  alliance  of  aristocratic  races  with  the 
Benedictine  Order  which  we  shall  shall  have  many  generous 
and  fruitful  examples  to  quote. 

He  bound  all — nobles  and  plebians,  young  and  old, 
rich  and  poor — under  the  same  discipline.  But  he  would 
have  excess  or  violence  in  nothing,  and  when  he  was  told  of 
a  solitary  in  the  neighbouring  mountain,  who,  not  content 
with  shutting  himself  up  in  a  narrow  cave,  had  attached  to 
his  foot  a  chain,  the  other  end  of  which  was  fixed  in  a  rock, 
so  that  he  could  not  move  beyond  the  length  of  this  chain, 
Benedict  sent  to  tell  him  to  break  it,  in  these  words,  "  If 
thou  art  truly  a  servant  of  God,  confine  thyself  not  with  a 
chain  of  iron,  but  with  the  chain  of  Christ" 

And  extending  his  solicitude  and  authority  over  the 
surrounding  populations,  he  did  not  content  himself  with 
preaching  eloquently  to  them  the  true  faith,  but  also  healed 
the  sick,  the  lepers  and  the  possessed,  provided  for  all  the 
necessities  of  the  soul  and  body,  paid  the  debts  of  honest 
men  oppressed  by  their  creditors,  and  distributed  in  in- 
cessant alms  the  provisions  of  corn,  wine,  and  linen  which 
were  sent  to  him  by  the  rich  Christians  of  the  neighbourhood. 
A  great  famine  having  afflicted  Campania  in  539,  he  dis- 
tributed to  the  poor  all  the  provisions  of  the  monastery,  so 
that  one  day  there  remained  only  five  loaves  to  feed  all  the 
community.  The  monks  were  dismayed  and  melancholy  : 
Benedict  reproached  them  with  their  cowardice.  "  You 
have  not  enough  to-day,"  he  said  to  them,  "  but  you  shall 
have  too  much  to-morrow."  And  accordingly  they  found 
next  morning  at  the  gates  of  the  monastery  two  hundred 
bushels  of  flour,  bestowed  by  some  unknown  hand.  Thus 
were  established  the  foundations  of  that  traditional  and  un- 
bounded munificence  to  which  his  spiritual  descendants 
have  remained  unalterably  faithful,  and  which  was  the  law 
and  glory  of  his  existence. 


398  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  M. 

So  much  sympathy  for  the  poor  naturally  inspired  them 
with  a  blind  confidence  in  him.  One  day,  when  he  had 
gone  out  with  the  brethren  to  labour  in  the  fields,  a  peasant, 
distracted  with  grief,  and  bearing  in  his  arms  the  body  of 
his  dead  son,  came  to  the  monastery  and  demanded  to  see 
Father  Benedict.  When  he  was  told  that  Benedict  was  in 
the  fields  with  the  brethren,  he  threw  down  his  son's  body 
before  the  door,  and,  in  the  transport  of  his  grief,  ran  at 
full  speed  to  seek  the  saint.  He  met  him  returning  from 
his  work,  and  from  the  moment  he  perceived  him,  began  to 
cry,  "  Restore  me  my  son  !"  Benedict  stopped  and  asked 
"Have  I  carried  him  away?"  The  peasant  answered  "He 
is  dead ;  come  and  raise  him  up."  Benedict  was  grieved 
by  these  words,  and  said,  "  Go  home  my  friend  this  is  not  a 
work  for  us ;  this  belongs  to  the  holy  apostles.  Why  do 
you  come  to  impose  upon  us  so  tremendous  a  burden?" 
But  the  father  persisted,  and  swore  in  his  passionate  distress 
that  he  would  not  go  till  the  saint  had  raised  up  his  son. 
The  abbot  asked  him  where  his  son  was.  "  His  body " 
said  he  "  is  at  the  door  of  the  monastery."  Benedict,  when 
he  arrived  there,  fell  on  his  knees,  and  then  laid  himself 
down,  as  Elijah  did  in  the  house  of  the  widow  of  Sarepta, 
upon  the  body  of  the  child,  and  rising  up,  extended  his 
hands  to  heaven,  praying  thus ;  "  Lord  look  not  upon  my 
sins  but  on  the  faith  of  this  man,  and  restore  to  the  body 
the  soul  Thou  hast  taken  away  from  it."  Scarcely  was  his 
prayer  ended,  when  all  present  perceived  that  the  whole 
body  of  the  child  trembled.  Benedict  took  him  by  the 
hand,  and  restored  him  to  his  father  full  of  life  and  health. 

His  virtue,  his  fame,  the  supernatural  power  which  was 
more  and  more  visible  in  his  whole  life,  made  him  the 
natural  protector  of  the  poor  husbandmen  against  the 
violence  and  rapine  of  the  new  masters  of  Italy.  The  great 
Theodoric  had  organized  an  energetic  and  protective  govern- 


March  ax.]  S.  Beriedict.  399 

ment,  but  he  dishonoured  the  end  of  his  reign  by  perse- 
cution and  cruelty;  and  since  his  death  barbarism  had 
regained  all  its  ancient  ascendancy  among  the  Goths.  The 
rural  population  groaned  under  the  yoke  of  these  rude 
oppressors,  doubly  exasperated,  as  Barbarians  and  as  Arians 
against  the  Italian  Catholics.  To  Benedict,  the  Roman 
patrician,  who  had  become  a  serf  of  God,  belonged  the 
noble  office  of  drawing  towards  each  other  the  Italians  and 
Barbarians,  two  races  cruelly  divided  by  religion,  fortune, 
language,  and  manners,  whose  mutual  hatred  was  embittered 
by  so  many  catastrophes  inflicted  by  the  one,  and  suffered 
by  the  other,  since  the  time  of  Alaric.  The  founder  of 
Monte  Cassino  stood  between  the  victors  and  the  van- 
quished like  an  all-powerful  moderator  and  inflexible  judge. 
The  facts  which  we  are  about  to  relate,  according  to  the 
narrative  of  S.  Gregory,  could  be  told  throughout  all  Italy, 
and,  spreading  from  cottage  to  cottage,  would  bring  un- 
thought  of  hope  and  consolation  into  the  hearts  of  the 
oppressed,  and  establish  the  popularity  of  Benedict  and  his 
order  on  an  immortal  foundation  in  the  memory  of  the 

It  has  been  seen  that  there  were  already  Goths  among 
the  monks  at  Subiaco,  and  how  they  were  employed  in 
reclaiming  the  soil  which  their  fathers  had  laid  waste.  But 
there  were  others  who,  inflamed  by  heresy,  professed  a 
hatred  of  all  that  was  orthodox  and  belonged  to  monastic 
life.  One  especially,  named  Galla,  traversed  the  country 
panting  with  rage  and  cupidity,  and  made  a  sport  of  slaying 
the  priests  and  monks  who  fell  under  his  power,  and  spoiling 
and  torturing  the  people  to  extort  from  them  the  little  that 
they  had  remaining.  An  unfortunate  peasant,  exhausted 
by  the  torments  inflicted  upon  him  by  the  pitiless  Goth, 
conceived  the  idea  of  bringing  them  to  an  end  by  declaring 
that  he   had  confided  all  that  he  had  to  the  keeping  of 

*i> 4* 

400  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  u. 

Benedict,  a  servant  of  God ;  upon  which  Galla  stopped  the 
torture  of  the  peasant,  but,  binding  his  arms  with  ropes,  and 
thrusting  him  in  front  of  his  own  horse,  ordered  him  to  go 
before  and  show  the  way  to  the  house  of  this  Benedict  who 
had  defrauded  him  of  his  expected  prey.  Both  pursued 
thus  the  way  to  Monte  Cassino ;  the  peasant  on  foot,  with 
his  hands  tied  behind  his  back,  urged  on  by  the  blows  and 
taunts  of  the  Goth,  who  followed  on  horseback,  an  image 
only  too  faithful  of  the  two  races  which  unhappy  Italy 
enclosed  within  her  distracted  bosom,  and  which  were  to  be 
judged  and  reconciled  by  the  unarmed  majesty  of  monastic 
goodness.  When  they  had  reached  the  summit  of  the 
mountain  they  perceived  the  abbot  seated  alone,  reading  at 
the  door  of  his  monastery.  "Behold,"  said  the  prisoner 
turning  to  his  tyrant,  "  there  is  the  Father  Benedict  of  whom 
I  told  thee."  The  Goth,  believing  that  here,  or  elsewhere, 
he  should  be  able  to  make  his  way  by  terror,  immediately 
called  out  with  a  furious  tone  to  the  monk.  "  Rise  up,  rise 
up,  and  restore  quickly  what  thou  hast  received  from  this 
peasant."  At  these  words  the  man  of  God  raised  his  eyes 
from  his  book,  and,  without  speaking,  slowly  turned  his 
gaze  first  upon  the  Barbarian  on  horse-back,  and  then  upon 
the  husbandman  bound,  and  bowed  down  by  his  cords. 
Under  the  light  of  that  powerful  gaze  the  cords  which  tied 
his  poor  arms  loosed  of  themselves,  and  the  innocent  victim 
stood  erect  and  free,  while  the  ferocious  Galla,  falling  on 
the  ground,  trembling,  and  beside  himself,  remained  at  the 
feet  of  Benedict,  begging  the  saint  to  pray  for  him.  With- 
out interrupting  his  reading,  Benedict  called  his  brethren, 
and  directed  them  to  carry  the  fainting  Barbarian  into  the 
monastery,  and  give  him  some  blessed  bread,  and,  when  he 
had  come  to  himself,  the  abbot  represented  to  him  the 
extravagance,  injustice,  and  cruelty  of  his  conduct,  and 
exhorted  him  to  change  it  for  the  future.     The  Goth  was 

* 4* 

From  a  Fresco,  painted  by  Spinelli  d'Arezzo,  in  the  Church  of  San  Miniato,  near  Florence. 

March,  p.  400.] 

[March  21. 


March  3I.]  S.  Benedict.  401 

completely  subdued,  and  no  longer  dared  to  ask  anything 
of  the  labourer  whom  the  mere  glance  of  the  monk  had 
delivered  from  his  bonds. 

But  this  mysterious  attraction,   which   drew   the   Goths 
under  the  influence  of  Benedict's  looks  and  words,  produced 
another  celebrated  and  significant  scene.    The  two  principal 
elements  of  reviving  society  in  their  most  striking  imperso- 
nation— the  victorious  Barbarians  and  the  invincible  monks 
— were  here  confronted.     Totila,   the  greatest  of  the  suc- 
cessors of  Theodoric,    ascended  the   throne  in   542,   and 
immediately  undertook  the  restoration  of  the  monarchy  of 
the  Ostrogoths,  which  the  victories  of  Belisarius  had  half 
overthrown.     Having  defeated  at  Faenza,   with  only  five 
thousand  men,  the  numerous  Byzantine  army,  led  by  the 
incapable  commanders  whom  the  jealousy  of  Justinian  had 
substituted    for    Belisarius,    the    victorious   king   made    a 
triumphal  progress  through  Central  Italy,  and  was  on  his 
way  to  Naples  when  he  was  seized  with  a  desire  to  see  this 
Benedict,    whose    fame  was   already   as  great   among   the 
Romans  as  among  the  Barbarians,  and  who  was  everywhere 
called  a  prophet.     He  directed  his  steps  towards  Monte 
Cassino,  and  caused  his  visit  to  be  announced.     Benedict 
answered  that  he  would  receive  him.     But  Totila  desirous 
of  proving  the  prophetic  spirit  which  was  attributed  to  the 
saint,  dressed  the  captain  of  his  guard  in  the  royal  robes  and 
purple  boots,   which  were  the  distinctive  marks  of  royalty, 
gave  him  a  numerous  escort,  commanded  by  the  three  counts 
who  usually  guarded  his  own  person,  and  charged  him,  thus 
clothed  and  accompanied,  to  present  himself  to  the  abbot 
as   the  king.     The  moment  that  Benedict  perceived  him, 
"  My  son,"  he  cried,  "  put  off  the  dress  you  wear ;  it  is  not 
yours."     The  officer  immediately  threw  himself  upon  the 
ground,  appalled  at  the  idea  of  having  attempted  to  deceive 
such  a  man.     Neither  he  nor  any  of  the  retinue  ventured 
vol.  in.  26 

* ■ A 

402  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March «. 

so  much  as  to  approach  the  abbot,  but  returned  at  full  speed 
to  the  king,  to  tell  him  how  promptly  they  had  been  dis- 
covered. Then  Totila  himself  ascended  the  monastic 
mountain,  but  when  he  had  reached  the  height,  and  saw 
from  a  distance  the  abbot  seated,  waiting  for  him,  the  victor 
of  the  Romans,  and  the  master  of  Italy  was  afraid.  He 
dared  not  advance,  but  threw  himself  on  his  face  before  the 
servant  of  Christ.  Benedict  said  to  him  three  times, 
"  Rise."  But  as  he  persisted  in  his  prostration,  the  monk 
rose  from  his  seat  and  raised  him  up.  During  the  course 
of  their  interview,  Benedict  reproved  him  for  all  that  was 
blamable  in  his  life,  and  predicted  what  should  happen  to 
him  in  the  future.  "  You  have  done  much  evil ;  you  do  it 
still  every  day ;  it  is  time  that  your  iniquities  should  cease. 
You  shall  enter  Rome ;  you  shall  cross  the  sea ;  you  shall 
reign  nine  years,  and  the  tenth  you  shall  die."  The  king, 
deeply  moved,  commended  himself  to  his  prayers,  and  with- 
drew. But  he  carried  away  in  his  heart  this  salutary  and 
retributive  incident,  and  from  that  time  his  barbarian  nature 
was  transformed. 

Totila  was  as  victorious  as  Benedict  had  predicted  that  he 
should  be.  He  possessed  himself  first  of  Benevento  and 
Naples,  then  of  Rome,  then  of  Sicily,  which  he  invaded 
with  a  fleet  of  five  hundred  ships,  and  ended  by  conquering 
Corsica  and  Sardinia.  But  he  exhibited  everywhere  a  clem- 
ency and  gentleness  which,  to  the  historian  of  the  Goths, 
seem  out  of  character  at  once  with  his  origin  and  his  posi- 
tion as  a  foreign  conqueror.  He  treated  the  Neapolitans 
as  his  children,  and  the  captive  soldiers  as  his  own  troops, 
gaining  himself  immortal  honour  by  the  contrast  between 
his  conduct  and  the  horrible  massacre  of  the  whole  popula- 
tion, which  the  Greeks  had  perpetrated  ten  years  before, 
when  that  town  was  taken  by  Belisarius.  He  punished  with 
death  one  of  his  bravest  officers,  who  had  insulted  the 

March  ai.]  ,£  Benedict.  403 

daughter  of  an  obscure  Italian,  and  gave  all  his  goods  to 
the  woman  whom  he  had  injured,  and  that  despite  the  re- 
presentations of  the  principal  nobles  of  his  own  nation, 
whom  he  convinced  of  the  necessity  of  so  severe  a  measure, 
that  they  might  merit  the  protection  of  God  upon  their 
arms.  When  Rome  surrendered,  after  a  prolonged  siege, 
Totila  forbade  the  Goths  to  shed  the  blood  of  any  Roman, 
and  protected  the  women  from  insult  At  length,  after  a 
ten  years'  reign,  he  fell,  according  to  the  prediction  of  Bene- 
dict, in  a  great  battle  which  he  fought  with  the  Greco- 
Roman  army,  commanded  by  the  eunuch  Narses. 

Placed  as  if  midway  between  the  two  invasions  of  the 
Goths  and  Lombards,  the  dear  and  holy  foundation  of 
Benedict,  respected  by  the  one,  was  to  yield  for  a  time 
to  the  rage  of  the  other.  The  holy  patriarch  had  a  pre- 
sentment that  his  successors  would  not  meet  a  second  Totila 
to  listen  to  them  and  spare  them.  A  noble  whom  he  had 
converted,  and  who  lived  on  familiar  terms  with  him,  found 
him  one  day  weeping  bitterly.  He  watched  Benedict  for  a 
long  time,  and  then,  perceiving  that  his  tears  were  not 
stayed,  and  that  they  proceeded  not  from  the  ordinary  fer- 
vour of  his  prayers,  but  from  profound  melancholy,  he 
asked  the  cause.  The  saint  answered,  "This  monastery 
which  I  have  built,  and  all  that  I  have  prepared  for  my 
brethren,  has  been  delivered  up  to  the  pagans  by  a  sentence 
of  Almighty  God.  Scarcely  have  I  been  able  to  obtain 
mercy  for  their  lives."  Less  than  forty  years  after,  this  pre- 
diction was  accomplished  by  the  destruction  of  Monte 
Gassino  by  the  Lombards. 

Benedict,  however,  was  near  the  end  of  his  career.  His 
interview  with  Totila  took  place  in  542,  in  the  year  which 
preceded  his  death,  and  from  his  earliest  days  of  the  fol- 
lowing year,  God  prepared  him  for  his  last  struggle,  by  re- 
quiring from  him  the  sacrifice  of  the  most  tender  affection 


^ — _ 

404  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  21 

he  had  retained  on  earth.  The  beautiful  and  touching  inci- 
dent of  the  last  meeting  of  Benedict  with  his  twin  sister, 
Scholastica,  has  been  already  recorded  (Feb.  10th).  At  the 
window  of  his  cell,  three  days  after,  Benedict  had  a  vision 
of  his  dear  sister's  soul  entering  heaven  in  the  form  of  a 
snowy  dove.  He  immediately  sent  for  the  body,  and  placed 
it  in  the  sepulchere  which  he  had  already  prepared  for  him- 
self, that  death  might  not  separate  those  whose  souls  had 
always  been  united  in  God. 

The  death  of  his  sister  was  the  signal  of  departure  for 
himself.  He  survived  her  only  forty  days.  He  announced 
his  death  to  several  of  his  monks,  then  far  from  Monte 
Cassino.  A  violent  fever  having  seized  him,  he  caused 
himself  on  the  sixth  day  of  his  sickness  to  be  carried  to  the 
chapel  of  S.  John  the  Baptist;  he  had  before  ordered  the 
tomb  in  which  his  sister  already  slept  to  be  opened.  There, 
supported  in  the  arms  of  his  disciples,  he  received  the  holy 
Viaticum,  then  placing  himself  at  the  side  of  the  open 
grave,  but  at  the  foot  of  the  altar,  and  with  his  arms  ex- 
tended towards  heaven,  he  died,  standing,  muttering  a  last 
prayer.  Died  standing ! — such  a  victorious  death  became 
well  that  great  soldier  of  God.  He  was  buried  by  the  side 
of  Scholastica,  in  a  sepulchre  made  on  the  spot  where 
stood  the  altar  of  Apollo,  which  he  had  thrown  down. 

The  body  of  S.  Benedict  was  carried  by  S.  Aigulf,  monk 
of  the  abbey  of  Fleury,  from  Monte  Cassino,  which  had 
been  ruined  by  the  Lombards,  into  France,  to  his  own 
monastery.  This  translation  took  place  on  July  nth,  and 
is  commemorated  in  all  the  monasteries  of  France  on  that 
day.  Another  solemnity,  called  the  Illation,  has  been  in- 
stituted in  honour  of  the  transfer  of  the  same  relics  from 
Orleans,  whither  they  had  been  conveyed,  from  fear  of  the 
Normans,  back  again  to  Fleury-sur- Loire.  In  1838,  the 
bishop  of  Orleans  resolved  on  sending  the  relics  to  the 


March  ai.]  S.  Benedict.  405 

Benedictine  abbey  of  Solesmes,  in  the  diocese  of  Le  Mans, 
but  the  project  met  with  so  great  opposition  that  he  con- 
tented himself  with  sending  only  the  skull  to  Solesmes. 

The  reliquary  which  was  opened  in  1805,  by  Mgr.  Ber- 
nier,  bishop  of  Orleans,  was  found  to  contain,  together  with 
the  bones,  several  papal  bulls  authenticating  the  relics.  It 
is,  however,  necessary  to  add  that  the  abbey  of  Monte 
Cassino  claims  to  possess  the  body  of  S.  Benedict,  and  ad- 
duces a  bull  of  pope  Urban  II.,  declaring  anathema  against 
all  who  deny  the  authenticity  of  that  body.  It  is  possible 
that  if  the  relics  in  both  places  were  examined  carefully,  it 
would  be  found  that  the  portions  missing  in  one  place  would 
be  found  in  the  other.  It  is  certain  that  S.  Odilo  of  Cluny 
sent  one  of  the  bones  of  S.  Benedict  to  Monte  Cassino  out 
of  France,  in  the  nth  cent,  and  that  it  was  received  there 
with  great  joy,  so  that  the  monks  there  cannot  have 
possessed  the  body  at  that  date. 

In  Art,  S.  Benedict  is  represented  with  his  finger  on  his 
lip,  as  enjoining  silence,  and  with  his  rule  in  his  hand,  or 
with  the  first  words  of  that  rule,  "  Ausculta,  O  fili !"  issuing 
from  his  lips,  and  with  a  discipline,  i.e.  a  scourge,  or  a 
rose  bush  at  his  side,  or  holding  a  broken  goblet  in  his 


406  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  22 

March  22. 

S.  Paul,  B.  of  Narbonne,  yd  or  e,th  cent. 

S.  Aphrodisius,  B.  of  Beziers,  yd  or  $th  cent. 

SS.  Callinica  and  Basilissa,  MM.  in  Galatia,  circ.  a.d.  252. 

SS.  Saturninus  and  IX.  Companions,  MM.  in  Africa. 

S.  Basil,  P.M.  at  Ancyra,  a.d.  363. 

S.  Lea,  W.  at  Rome,  circ.  a.d.  383. 

S.  Deogratias,  B.  of  Carthage,  circ.  A.D.  456. 

SS.  Herlinda  and  Reinilda,  V.V.  Abss.  at  Maeseyck,  in  Belgium, 

8th  cent. 
S.  Benvenutus,  B.  ofOsimo,  in  the  Marches  of  Ancona,  a.d.  1276. 
S.  Eelko  Liaukman,  Ab.  of  Lidlom,  in  Holland,  A.D.  1332. 
B.  Thomas  of  Lancaster,  M.  at  Pontefract,  a.d.  1321. 
S.  Katharine  of  Sweden,  V.  daughter  of  S .  Bridget,  a.d.  1381. 
B.  Nicolas  von  der  Flue,  H.  at  Sachseln,  in  Switzerland, 

A.D.  1487. 


(3RD  OR  4TH  CENT.) 
[Ancient  Martyrology  of  S.  Jerome  ;  Gallican  &  Roman  Martyrologies.] 

JNT  PAUL,  mentioned  by  the  early  martyr- 
ologies as  bishop  of  Narbonne,   and  confessor, 
has  been  conjectured  to  be  Sergius  Paulus,  the 
pro-consul,  converted  in  the  island  of  Cyprus  by 
the  apostle  Paul  when  Elymas,  the  sorcerer,  withstood  S. 
Paul     There  is  no  evidence  substantiating  this,  nor  does  it 
appear  to  rest  on  any  very  ancient  tradition. 

The  most  ancient  martyrologies  do  not  assert  it,  though 
some  of  them  say  that  he  was  a  convert  of  the  Apostle  of 
the  Gentiles.  The  Roman  Martyrology  mentions  the  re- 
port, but  does  not  authorise  it  The  Acts  of  his  life  are 
not  deserving  of  credence.  S.  Paul  certainly  lived  much 
later  than  he  is  represented  to  have  done. 

Some  relics  are  preserved  in  the  Church  of  S.  Paul  at 

►j< — >j< 

March  »2.i  5".  Aphrodisius.  407 


(3RD    OR    4TH    CENT.) 
[Roman  Martyrology,  the  Evora  Breviary,  and  others.] 

This  bishop,  an  Egyptian  by  birth,  accompanied  S.  Paul 
of  Narbonne,  in  his  mission  into  Gaul.  A  foolish  legend l 
(fabulosa  narratio  it  is  called  by  Henschenius)  is  to  the 
effect  that  he  was  governor  of  Egypt  at  the  time  when 
S.  Joseph  and  the  B.  Virgin  went  down  thither  with  the 
Holy  Child  Jesus,  to  escape  the  persecution  of  Herod  who 
sought  the  young  child's  life.  On  the  arrival  of  the  child 
Jesus  in  Egypt  all  the  idols  fell,  and  Aphrodisius,  recog- 
nising in  Him  his  God,  bowed  before  Him  in  adoration, 
and  defended  the  Holy  Family  from  the  rage  of  the  idola- 
trous priests.  After  the  Ascension  he  laid  down  his 
prefectship  and  went  to  Antioch  where  he  was  baptized  by 
S.  Peter,  and  afterwards  sent  with  S.  Sergius  Paulus  into 
Gaul.  S.  Aphrodisius,  however,  certainly  lived  much  later 
than  he  is  represented  to  have  done. 

S.  BASIL,  P.  M.  AT  ANCYRA. 
(a.d.  363.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  By  the  Greeks  on  the  same  day.  In  the  Syriac 
Church,  a  S.  Basil  and  his  Companions  are  commemorated  on  March  ist, 
and  another  S.  Basil  and  his  Companions  on  March  8th,  and  S.  Basil, 
P.  M.,  on  March  28th  in  the  Coptic  Kalendar.  The  Greek  Acts  are 
genuine,  and  were  written  by  a  contemporary.  Other  versions  of  the  Acts 
exist,  but  they  are  corrupted  by  the  intermixture  of  the  Acts  of  another 
S.  Basil,  a  frequent  mistake,  when  there  are  several  saints  of  the  same 

S.  Basil  was  a  priest  of  Ancyra,  very  fervent  in  spirit, 
zealous  in  upholding  the  Catholic  faith,  and  combating  the 
Arian  heresy  foot  to  foot  An  Arian  synod  of  bishops 
ordered  his  degradation  from  his  office,  in  360,  and  ap- 

1  Related  by  Peter  de  Natalibus,  lib.  iii.  c.  ai8. 

408  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  a». 

pointed  Eudoxius,  a  bishop,  and  an  Arian,  in  his  place. 
But  Basil  encouraged  by  the  Catholic  bishops  refused  to 
budge,  but  maintained  his  ground,  and  was  indefatigable  in 
stimulating  the  courage  of  the  faithful,  and  encouraging  the 
half-hearted.  He  was  the  means  of  restoring  large  numbers 
of  those  who  had  been  taught  by  the  Arians  to  disbelieve  in 
the  consubstantiality  of  the  Son  with  the  Father  to  full 
Catholic  faith,  thereby  exasperating  the  heretics  against  him. 
He  was  one  of  those  fiery  enthusiasts  of  resistless  energy, 
uncompromising  with  himself  and  others,  a  type  as  needful 
as  the  soft  and  gentle  saint,  winning  through  love.  The 
burning  faith  of  Basil  carried  him  dauntless  into  danger,  and 
made  him  regardless  of  opposition,  and  those  spirits  which 
looked  to  a  strong  nature  for  support  found  a  rock  in  Basil. 
As  soon  as  Julian  assumed  the  purple,  paganism  was 
revived;  and  if  the  Christians  were  not  openly  perse- 
cuted, every  means  which  craft  could  devise  of  break- 
ing their  resolution  were  resorted  to,  and  with  such  success 
that  the  mild  measures  of  Julian  proved  more  dangerous  to 
the  Church  than  the  fiery  persecution  of  Decius.  But  the 
patience  of  Julian  gave  way  towards  the  end  of  his  career, 
and  it  is  certain  that  in  some  cases  he  encouraged,  and  in 
others  connived  at  the  resort  to  violence  to  punish  the  most 
zealous  upholders  of  Christianity.  The  charges  against 
those  most  obnoxious  were  not  always  their  religion,  but 
contempt  of  the  edicts  or  seditious  conduct.  Basil  worked 
so  effectually  in  Ancyra  to  counteract  the  imperial  policy 
that  the  pagan  priests  and  governor  were  resolved  to  destroy 
him,  hoping  that,  if  the  prop  of  the  Ancyran  Christians  were 
removed,  their  faith  would  yield  with  a  crash.  Macarius, 
one  of  the  priests  of  the  idols,  laid  hold  of  Basil  as  he  was 
publicly  denouncing  heathen  worship,  and  drew  him 
before  the  magistrate,  Saturninus,  on  the  charge  of  stirring 
up   the   people   against   the    established  religion.     "What 


March  22.]  S.  Basil.  409 

meanest  thou,"  cried  Macarius,  "going  to  and  fro  in  the 
city,  agitating  the  people  against  the  religion  established  by 
the  emperor?"  "God  break  thy  jaws,  thou  bondslave  of 
Satan  !"  answered  Basil.  "  It  is  not  I  who  ruin  thy  religion, 
but  He  who  is  in  Heaven  who  confounds  thy  counsel  and 
dissipates  thy  lies." 

Then  Macarius  cried  out  to  the  proconsul,  "  I  charge 
this  fellow  with  making  sedition  in  the  city,  stirring  up  the 
people  to  overthrow  our  altars  and  defy  the  emperor." 
"  Who  art  thou,"  asked  Saturninus,  "  who  art  so  audacious 
as  to  do  these  things  ?"  Basil  replied,  "  I  am  the  best  of 
everything, — a  Christian." 

"Then  why,  if  thou  art  a  Christian,  dost  not  thou 
behave  as  a  Christian  ?"  "  I  do,"  answered  Basil ;  "  it 
behoves  every  Christian  to  make  bare  all  acts." 

"Why  dost  thou  make  revolt  in  the  city,  transgressing 
good  laws,  and  blaspheming  the  emperor." 

"  I  do  not  blaspheme  the  emperor  or  his  religion.  God 
is  my  emperor,  and  He  will  bring  your  petty  established 
religion  to  naught  in  no  time." 

"  So  the  religion  of  the  emperor  is  not  true  !" 

"  How  can  I  regard  that  religion  as  true,  and  that  worship 
as  true  which  consists  in  men  running  howling  about  the 
streets  like  rabid  dogs  with  raw  flesh  in  their  mouths."1 

"  Hang  him  up  and  scrape  him,"  said  the  proconsul.  So 
Basil  was  suspended  by  his  wrists  and  ankles,  and  his  flesh 
was  torn  with  rakes.  And  as  he  suffered  he  cried,  "  Lord  God 
of  ages,  I  thank  thee  that  I  am  deemed  worthy  to  enter  into 
the  way  of  life  through  these  torments,  walking  through 
which  I  may  behold  the  heirs  of  thy  promises !"  Then  he 
was  taken  down  and  cast  into  prison.  And  after  that  the 
proconsul  sent  to  the  emperor  Julian,  to  announce  what 

1  He  is  alluding  to  the  OmophaRlc  rites  of  Zeus  Zagreus,  in  which  the  worship- 
pers fell  on  a  sheep  and  tore  it  with  their  teeth  and  ran  about  with  the  blood 
dripping  from  their  jaws. 


4io  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  M. 

had  taken  place,  and  to  ask  further  orders.  Then  the 
emperor  sent  three  renegade  Christians,  and  advised  the 
proconsul  to  endeavour  by  all  means  to  persuade  and  natter 
Basil  into  apostasy.  But  though  all  efforts  were  used  to 
shake  his  resolution  they  failed,  and  Basil  remained  in 
chains  till  Julian  himself  passed  through  Ancyra  on  his  way 
east  to  the  Persian  war.  Then  Basil  was  summoned  before 
the  emperor,  and  Julian  endeavoured  to  persuade  him  to 
conform  to  his  religion,  but  the  holy  martyr  blazed  forth  in 
righteous  zeal  against  the  apostate.  "  Thou  renegade  hast 
abdicated  the  throne  prepared  for  thee  in  heaven,"  he  said ; 
"  And  verily  I  believe  that  Christ  whom  thou  hast  abjured 
will  take  thee  and  pluck  thee  out  of  thy  dwelling,  that  thou 
mayest  know  how  great  is  that  God  whom  thou  hast  offended. 
Thou  hast  not  thought  of  His  judgments,  nor  venerated 
His  altar  where  thou  wast  given  salvation ;  thou  hast  not 
kept  His  law  which  often  thou  didst  declare  with  thy  lips  ; 
wherefore  the  great  emperor  Christ  will  not  remember  thee, 
but  will  take  from  thee  speedily  thy  earthly  empire,  and  thy 
body  shall  be  deprived  of  a  sepulchre,  and  thou  shalt 
breathe  forth  thy  soul  in  greatest  anguish." 

Then  Julian  ordered  him  to  be  taken  away,  and  seven 
thongs  to  be  cut  daily  from  his  skin.  This  command  was 
given  to  Frumentinus,  Count  of  the  Squires  (Comes  Scutari- 
orum.)  And  when  this  had  been  done,  the  martyr  gathered 
up  one  of  the  strips  of  skin  cut  off  him,  in  his  hand, 
and  besought  that  he  might  be  conducted  before  the 
emperor.  And  as  Frumentinus  believed  that  he  was  about 
to  make  adjuration  of  his  religion,  he  brought  him  into  the 
council  hall  before  Julian.  Then  he  cried,  "  Dumb  and 
deaf  and  blind  are  thy  idols,  Apostate  !  To  me  to  live  is 
Christ,  and  to  die  is  gain.  He  is  my  helper  in  whom  I 
trust,  and  for  whom  I  suffer.  Here  is  meat  for  thee, 
Julian !"  and  he  flung  the  strip  of  skin  in  his  face. 


March  «.j  ,5*.  Deogratias.  411 

Then  the  count,  alarmed  at  having  occasioned  this  scene, 
by  suffering  Basil  to  return  into  the  emperor's  presence, 
hurried  him  out  and  cast  him  into  prison.  On  the  morrow 
Julian  departed  for  Antioch,  without  having  seen  the  count, 
who  feared  that  he  had  fallen  into  disgrace,  and  therefore 
vented  his  spleen  on  the  martyr.  He  had  iron  spikes  heated 
red-hot,  and  Basil  thrown  upon  them,  so  that  they  burnt 
into  his  bowels.  But  Basil  prayed,  "Christ  is  my  light, 
and  Jesus  is  my  hope,  a  calm  port  in  tempest.  I  give  Thee 
thanks,  Lord  God  of  my  fathers,  because  thou  hast  saved 
my  soul  from  the  abyss  ;  keep  Thy  Name  inviolate  in  me, 
and  make  me  an  heir  of  eternal  quiet,  for  the  promise  made 
unto  my  fathers  by  the  great  High  Priest,  Jesus  Christ,  our 
Lord;  through  whom  I  pray  Thee  receive  my  spirit  into 
peace,  persevering  in  my  confession ;  for  Thou  art  merciful 
and  long-suffering  and  full  of  compassion ;  who  livest  and 
abidest  through  ages  of  ages.  Amen."  And  when  he  had 
ended  his  prayer,  as  one  overcome  with  slumber,  he  ceased 
and  gave  up  his  spirit 

(about  a.d.    456.) 

[Roman  Martyrology.  Authority  :—  Victor  of  Utica.  Hist.  Persec. 
Vandalorum,  lib.  i.] 

Carthage  was  taken  by  Genseric  king  of  the  Vandals  in 
October,  439,  and  then  began  that  fearful  Arian  persecution  of 
the  Catholics  which  almost  surpassed  those  of  the  heathen 
emperors  in  horror.  Bishop  Quodvultdeus  had  been  sent 
adrift  along  with  his  clergy  in  a  broken  vessel,  and  had  been 
carried  by  the  wind  in  safety  to  Naples.  The  church  of 
Carthage  was  without  a  chief  pastor  for  about  fourteen  years, 
till  in  454,  Deogratias  was  created  bishop. 


412  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  33. 

In  455,  Genseric  entered  Rome,  which  he  found  unde- 
fended. Pope  S.  Leo  met  him  at  the  gates  and  obtained 
from  him  that  the  city  should  not  be  burnt,  nor  should  the 
inhabitants  be  massacred,  but  that  the  Vandal  conquerors 
were  to  content  themselves  with  the  pillage.  Rome  was 
therefore  pillaged  deliberately  during  a  fortnight,  and  then 
the  Vandals  retired  carrying  with  them  an  immense  treasure, 
amongst  other  things  of  value,  the  sacred  vessels  which 
Titus  had  taken  from  the  temple  of  Jerusalem.  They 
returned  to  Africa  also  encumbered  with  crowds  of  captives 
whom  they  sold  to  the  Moors  and  amongst  themselves. 
Wives  were  separated  from  their  husbands,  and  children 
from  their  parents.  The  holy  bishop,  stirred  to  the  depths 
of  his  soul  by  the  misery  that  he  saw,  sold  all  the  gold 
and  silver  vessels  of  the  churches  of  Carthage,  and  spent 
the  proceeds  in  redeeming  those  slaves  whose  cases  were 
most  urgent  and  distressing.  And,  because  there  was  not 
found  any  other  place  sufficiently  capacious  to  receive  the 
ransomed  multitude,  he  devoted  to  their  accommodation 
the  church  of  S.  Fausta,  and  the  new  church,  which  he 
filled  with  straw  and  with  beds.  As  there  were  many  sick 
amongst  this  crowd,  some  who  had  suffered  from  sea-sick- 
ness, and  others  from  the  disorders  consequent  on  being 
crowded  together  in  small  vessels,  the  holy  prelate  visited 
them  at  all  hours,  with  medicines,  and  proper  food,  and 
ministered  to  their  necessities  with  his  own  hands.  He  did 
not  even  rest  at  night,  but  walked  up  and  down  the 
churches  visiting  the  beds,  and  seeing  that  order  and 
comfort  prevailed.  The  emergency  gave  the  aged  and 
decrepid  man  new  strength.  The  Arians  envious  of  his 
virtue,  made  several  attempts  on  his  life,  but  they  failed. 
The  labour  and  exhaustion  consequent  on  this  tax  on  his 
energies  overcame  him,  and  he  died  peaceably  after  having 
held   the  see  only  three  years.     He  was  secretly  buried, 

March  22.]        B.  Eelko  Liaukaman,  Ab.  413 

whilst  the  Catholics  were  engaged  in  their  churches  at 
prayer,  for  fear  lest  the  people,  who  loved  him  as  a  father, 
should  carry  off  his  revered  body.  After  his  death  Genseric 
forbade  the  ordination  of  bishops  in  the  whole  proconsular 
province  and  in  Zeugitania,  where  there  were  as  many  as 
sixty-four.  Thus,  by  deaths  and  imprisonment,  the  number 
of  Catholic  bishops  in  thirty  years  was  reduced  to  three. 

(a.d.  1332.) 

[Norbertine  Martyrology.     Venerated  anciently  at  Lidlom,  in  Holland. 
Authority  : — Life  by  Sibrand  Leonius,  Norbertine  Canon,  1580.] 

The  blessed  Eelko  Liaukaman  was  abbot  of  the  wealthy 
Norbertine  house  of  Lidlom,  in  Friesland,  at  a  time  when 
the  wealth  of  the  abbey  had  tended  greatly  to  the  relaxation 
of  discipline.  The  possessions  of  the  abbey  were  far  apart, 
and  the  lay-brothers  were  sent  about  to  the  different  farms 
and  cells  to  attend  to  the  secular  interests  of  the  society. 
The  abbot  soon  ascertained  that  these  men  took  advantage 
of  their  being  away  from  supervision  to  lead  disorderly  lives, 
drinking  and  not  unfrequently  falling  into  worse  offences. 
He  at  once  undertook  to  correct  this  scandalous  conduct  as 
far  as  possible,  and  visited  the  farms  and  places  whither  the 
lay-brothers  had  been  sent  at  unexpected  times  ;  the  conse- 
quence of  which  was  that  he  sometimes  caught  them 
tripping,  and  as  a  necessary  corollary,  incurred  their  deadly 
enmity.  The  chief  malefactors  determined  on  his  destruc- 
tion, and  planned  to  murder  him  when  he  was  at  his  castle 
of  Ter-poort.  He  had  retired  for  the  night,  shut  his  door, 
"  put  on  his  night-shirt,  drawers,  belt  and  cap,  gone  to  bed, 
poured  forth  his  prayers,  and  composed  himself  to  sleep,"1 

1  "  Clauso  cubile,  interula,  caligis,  cingulo,  plleoquc  nocturno  instructus,  lecio 
bos«  colocat ;  fusis  ad  Oeum  precibus,  ■omno  »e  componit." 

414  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March  aa. 

when  the  conspirators  burst  in  through  the  window.  Hear- 
ing the  noise,  the  abbot  rose  up  in  his  bed,  and  asked 
gently  what  was  the  matter.  Then  the  disorderly  lay- 
brothers  began  to  shower  abuse  on  him,  and  call  him  a 
hypocrite,  a  glutton,  and  a  drunkard.  "  My  sons,  when 
saw  ye  me  drunk?"  "Oh,  you  put  your  tipple  away  up 
your  sleeves,  so  as  to  drink  on  the  sly,"  they  said.  "  Go," 
said  he,  "  shake  my  sleeves  and  see  for  yourselves."  They 
did  so,  and  a  shower  of  red  roses  fell  on  the  floor.  Then 
rushing  on  him  with  sticks  they  beat  his  brains  out,  and 
drawing  his  body  through  the  window  flung  it  into  the  moat. 
Next  morning  a  woman  who  was  passing  saw  a  portion  of 
his  white  night  gear  above  the  water  and  gave  the  alarm. 
The  body  was  raised  from  the  moat.  The  murderers  were 
afterwards  caught  and  executed. 

Before  the  so-called  Reformation  the  B.  Eelko  was 
venerated  as  a  saint,  and  represented  in  art  shaking  roses 
out  of  his  habit 

(a.d.   1321.) 

[Inscribed  in  his  additions  to  Usuardus  by  Herman  Greven,  in  the 
German  Martyrology  of  Canisius,  and  by  Ferrarius  in  his  General  Catalogue 
of  the  Saints.  Not  mentioned  in  the  Anglican  or  Roman  Martyrologies, 
but  it  is  certain  that  Thomas  of  Lancaster  received  veneration  shortly  after 
his  execution,  and  that  miraculous  cures  were  attributed  to  his  relics.] 

There  have  been,  as  there  probably  ever  will  be,  great 
differences  of  opinion  as  to  the  justice  of  beheading  Thomas, 
Earl  of  Lancaster,  cousin-german  to  king  Edward  II. 

Edward  of  Carnarvon  had  received  his  father's  final 
instructions  before  Edward  I.  died.  Of  these  the  principal 
were ;  that  he  should  devote  a  certain  sum  to  the  succour 
of  the  Holy  Land ;  that  he  should  persist  in  the  conquest 



March  m.]         B.    Thomas  of  Lancaster.  415 

of  Scotland;  and  that  he  should  not  recall  his  favourite, 
Piers  de  Gaveston  (a  young  Gascon,  whom  the  king  had 
lately  banished),  without  the  consent  of  parliament 

Every  one  of  these  commands  were  directly  violated  by 
the  young  king.  His  first  act  was  to  send  for  Gaveston  ; 
and  to  confer  on  him  the  royal  earldom  of  Cornwall.  The 
old  ministers  and  judges  were  nearly  all  dismissed.  Lang- 
ton,  bishop  of  Coventry,  the  treasurer  of  the  late  king,  who 
had  formerly  reproved  the  extravagance  of  the  prince  and 
his  favourite,  was  thrown  into  prison.  Gaveston  received 
the  money  left  for  the  crusade,  was  made  lord  chamberlain  ; 
betrothed  to  Margaret  de  Clare,  niece  of  the  king;  and 
presently,  when  Edward  went  to  marry  Isabel  of  France  at 
Boulogne,  left  regent  of  England. 

The  jealousy  of  the  great  nobles  was  already  excited  ; 
but  when  they  beheld  the  king,  on  his  return,  rush  into  the 
arms  of  his  favourite  without  regarding  them  ;  and  when 
they  saw  Gaveston  take  precedence  of  them  all  at  the  coro- 
nation of  Edward,  their  anger  burst  forth.  Three  days  after 
the  ceremony  they  called  upon  the  king  to  dismiss  his 
minion.  Edward  deferred  the  matter  until  parliament 
should  meet,  hoping  by  that  time  to  soothe  their  resent- 
ment. All  his  efforts,  however,  was  rendered  nugatory  by 
the  pride  and  insolence  of  Gaveston,  and  the  nobles  insisted 
on  his  expulsion.  Edward  was  obliged  to  give  way,  and 
Gaveston  to  swear  that  he  would  never  return.  The  king, 
however,  escorted  him  to  Bristol  with  every  mark  of  honour, 
and  mortified  his  enemies  still  more  by  appointing  the  exile 
his  lieutenant  in  Ireland. 

From  the  day  of  Gaveston's  departure  the  king  laboured 
to  effect  his  recall.  He  solicited  the  intervention  of  the 
pope ;  and  having  obtained  a  conditional  abrogation  of  the 
oath  taken  by  Gaveston,  ordered  him  to  return.  Receiving 
him  in  person  at  Chester,  he  brought  him  to  meet  parlia- 


41 6  Lives  of  the  Saints.  [March «. 

ment.  Here  he  induced  the  bishops  and  peers  to  consent 
that  his  favourite  should  remain  in  England;  but  they 
added, — as  long  as  he  conducted  himself  well. 

In  a  very  short  time,  however,  the  absolute  ascendancy  of 
Gaveston  over  the  king,  his  ostentation  and  presumption, 
had  revived  the  animosity  of  the  barons.  Lancaster  and 
his  friends  refused  to  attend  the  next  parliament.  Edward, 
who  wanted  money,  found  it  necessary  to  yield.  He 
prologued  the  parliament  to  London,  and  leaving  Gaveston 
in  retirement,  repaired  to  the  capital.  The  great  barons 
attended  with  such  a  military  force,  that  Edward  was 
obliged  to  grant  all  their  demands.  A  committee  of  seven 
prelates,  eight  earls,  and  six  barons,  under  the  name  of 
ordainers,  was  appointed,  with  full  powers  to  redress  the 
grievances  of  the  nation.  Gaveston  was  again  banished 
and  as  speedily  was  recalled  by  the  king  in  defiance  of  his 
parliament  The  barons  then  took  up  arms,  and  captured 
Gaveston  at  Scarborough  (May  19th,  131 2),  and  executed 
him  by  order  of  Lancaster  and  the  other  insurgent  nobles 
at  Blacklow,  near  Coventry. 

The  news  of  this  audacious  deed  affected  the  king  with 
the  most  passionate  grief,  to  which  was  quickly  added  a 
fierce  desire  for  revenge.  His  anger  was  not  diminished 
when  the  barons  followed  up  the  blow  by  a  peremptory 
demand  that  the  ordinances  for  the  better  government  of 
England  and  the  rectification  of  flagrant  abuses  should  be 
carried  into  effect.  A  superficial  reconciliation  was  however 
effected.  The  parliament  assembled  at  Westminster  hall, 
and  Edward  having  taken  his  seat  on  the  throne,  the  earl  of 
Lancaster  and  his  associates  knelt  before  him,  and  solicited 
a  pardon  for  the  acts  which  had  offended  him.  Taking  each 
petitioner  by  the  hand,  the